“My dream is to have a career in Argentina and a string of horses over there”
There is nothing better than starting this article with a tale. A story of a loss that helped to strengthen the soul of a man who, years later, would become one of the top polo players in his home country, Pakistan. This man is Hamza Mawaz Khan.
The Pakistan Today newspaper published this article in 2012:
“The morning of Sunday, March 11th, 2012 had a different meaning for Hamza Mawaz Khan, a day that would make the bravest of men nervous with the pressures he coped with later in the day at the tender age of sixteen.
The highlight of the polo season in Pakistan – the Quad-e-Azam Gold Cup for the National Championship – was to be played at 4:30 pm at the historical Aibak Ground at Lahore Polo Club between Nestle and Colony Sugar that day. Hamza, handicapped at 2, was playing forward along with three of his other teammates, two of whom were former captains of the Pakistan team and the third, the highest handicapped player – entered the field to face a highly-enthusiastic crowd. Although the odds were in favour of Nestle maybe the gods on that day were not. Hamza lost, but history was made. He became the first player in Pakistani polo history to have played the National Championship final at the age of 16. As if the pressure of the final was not enough, weighing on his mind was another small matter: four generations of his family had already won the National Championships in their prime. His great grandfather, the late Brig Gul Mawaz Khan, rated at 4 handicap, had won the National many times. His grandfather, Major Javed Mawaz Khan, also a 4 handicapper, had won it six times. His father, Taimur Mawaz Khan, a 3 handicap, had won it three times. His grandfather’s brother Saqib Mawaz Khan, a 5 handicap, had won it three times.
Hamza has taken polo as a professional sport and his commitment is visible from the fact that he has sacrificed school for his passion.”
A little over 8 years have passed since that day, and Hamza has grown into a proper polo player.
“Polo is my family's sport, I’m the fourth generation of polo players in my family”
-How did you get started in polo?
“Polo is my family's sport, I’m the fourth generation of polo players in my family. I grew up among horses and polo so, inevitably, I played my first tournament at the age of 11-12.”
-What are the most important tournaments you have played in?
“The President’s Cup, Dubai Ghantoot; Royal Windsor Cup, Guards Polo Club; Duke of Cornwall Cup, Guards Polo Club”.
-What countries have you visited to play polo?
“Iran, UAE, Thailand, Argentina, Kenya, England and, of course, my home country Pakistan.”
-What place does polo hold in your life?
“It is not only my profession but also my passion and I don’t see myself doing anything else.”
-How do you see polo in your country?
“I feel like it is growing every year and people are importing great horses. Only this year there were 120 Argentine horses imported so that increases the level of polo automatically.”
-What would it take for it to grow further?
“Making better fields, breeding more polo ponies locally and inviting professionals from all over the world.”
-What is your dream in polo?
“To have a career in Argentina and a string of horses over there.”