The UK Polocrosse Association announced this week that the former Great Britain international showjumper Emma-Jane Brown will be their new Patron. In a statement the UKPA said that Emma Jane Brown would be helping the UKPA develop and grow the sport and raise its profile in the run up to the 2011 World Cup, being held in the UK. In particular she will look to encourage more young people to take up the sport.

Emma-Jane Brown was an international showjumper for Great Britain, selected for the Nations Cup team 13 times and had a long and successful show jumping career which started with her winning the Ladies National Championship of Great Britain at the age of 20. Emma-Jane said “”I am still very passionate about equestrian sports and saw becoming Patron of the UKPA as an opportunity to help promote a non Olympic equestrian sport at grassroots level, as well as encouraging young people in to an up and coming horse sport like polocrosse. The World Cup should really put the sport on the map.”

Iain Heaton of the UKPA said “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Emma-Jane Brown as our Patron. I think it is wonderful that someone with her reputation is getting involved with polocrosse. It shows how much the sport is growing and developing. The UKPA looks forward to working with her to continue the development of polocrosse; I know she will bring a great deal to the sport.”

The UKPA also announced their new season calendar this year and it had an all new look as the National Championships, historically always held on the bank holiday weekend at the end of August, have been pushed back into the middle of September. The UKPA said that with the World Cup happening next July they felt Nationals had to move back to allow the domestic season to be a decent length.They have also declared the intention to hold an early season UKPA organised tournament in the middle of May to ensure that the season starts earlier than in 2010, when the first tournament was at the end of May.

The UKPA have also laid out very clearly which weekends they would like to see club tournaments held on and which weekends they would like to see left free for test matches (they intend to play the Irish again in early June), demonstrations, the World Cup itself and its preparations and also regional events, which is the UKPA’s newest idea to encourage clubs and regions to do more locally focused events in order to help grow the sport. The UKPA apparently hope to avoid any confusion by laying out as early as possible how they want to see the season run taking into account the mid season break for the World Cup.

As yet only one club has declared its desired tournament date and that is Cotswold, who swooped on the vacant August Bank Holiday weekend spot like a chip on a seagull (Chris Dunlop, Midland Tournament 2010) and declared that they will be holding a tournament featuring play on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The UKPA has also announced its AGM date; it will be held on the 28th of November at Henley in Arden Memorial Hall, as is traditional. As it is not an election year its will probably be a reasonably short and sweet affair though as always the UKPA have invited their membership to put forwards any resolutions and there will be an open forum in the afternoon for any members to voice any views and questions.