Danville, VA - A sport that's generally been for the rich is being offered to children of all means on the Southside. A Danville man is hoping to create a polo team.A Danville pasture is quiet now, with only the sounds of horses eating grass. When Bob Jiranek looks at this land, though, he sees something different. He pictures a future with 18 horses, side-by-side with young polo players.
"We've got youth in this area that can compete on a equal basis with any youth anywhere in the world. And that's why we are doing it here in Danville," said Jiranek.
By this Summer, Jiranek hopes to create a competitive polo team. He wants to start by recruiting high school girls who can master the sport. That way, when they graduate, they will be good candidates for an ivy-league college scholarship.
"Polo is a team sport. And it's a way for young people who are interested in education to get to intermingle with each other in a substantive way," said Jiranek.
His dream keeps getting closer to reality. Just last week, four $10,000 polo-trained horses were donated to the Dan River Polo Club. A piece of land is in the process of being converted into a polo field as well.
"The horse doesn't care if you are rich or poor, black or white. If you have a facility to ride a horse and control a horse, that horse is your friend," said Jiranek.
Jiranek says polo teaches teamwork, provides exercise, and in this case could open many doors.
Jiranek plans to have a polo camp this summer to teach the sport. He says if they can't afford to pay for the camp, students wanting to play can work the field, instead.
If you want more information, you can email Jiranek at: firstname.lastname@example.org