DIETHER Ocampo and Andrea del Rosario and Rep. Mikee Romero were among the prominent figures who graced the third Cockatoo Polo Cup at the North Polo Club in Pulilan, Bulacan.
The event, an annual project initiated by Ocampo and supported by Cedrix Slimming & Wellness by Cathy Valencia, ALV and Akashi, attracted some of the top players in the country, including Romero, Anthony Garcia, Jun Juban, Santi Lujan, Miguel Dure and international campaigners like Kathryn Fischer, Marina Rose Best, and Alexander Vogi among others.
With his newfound passion for the sport, Ocampo committed to do this event annually to help uplift the level of play among Filipinos.
“Right now, we’re starting to generate awareness because this sport is very flexible,” said Ocampo. “It’s a sport that can work with everyone. You’ll learn how to ride.
"The reason why we created the event is to draw awareness. Even before we started doing tournaments here, part of the suggestions in the board of directors in the SEA Games is to include this among the sports in 2019. Hopefully, it will push through. There’s a lot of potential for Filipino riders.”
Ocampo became a witness to the strong potential of Filipinos excelling in the sport when the home team defeated a visiting squad in a friendly event.
Del Rosario, a former member of the Viva Hot Babes and now the vice mayor of Calatagan, learned the sport just recently but is now looking to compete in the international circuit.
“I started less than a year ago because my boyfriend is a five-goaler,” said Del Rosario. “I was fortunate enough to be taught by him and he has horses in America.”
To continue her training, she was able to hook up with friends like Romero who lent him horses to sustain his regular workout.
“I was fortunate enough to be lent horses by Congressman Mikee Romero, so talagang tuluy-tuloy yung training ko,” said Del Rosario. “In any sport, if you are eager to learn, you will learn it."
For Romero, it's all about creating more awareness for the sport through events like the Cockatoo Polo Cup,
“Dito kasi, since parang ako yung captain ng Philippine (polo) team ngayon, I have to help create more awareness. It’s an elite sport, game of the kings as they say, but lumalaki siya, lalo na dito sa Bulacan. I think here in Bulacan, there’s about 50 players competing,” added Romero.