“New blood is the driven power for China polo’s future”
Fatin Li is one of China's new players and, during this interview with CLICKPOLO ASIA, she talked about her beginnings in polo and analyzes the sport in her country. "My opinion is that, with the economic strong growth and great trend of globalization, polo will be more and more popular with the younger Chinese generation," she said
Time flies by quickly for Fatin Li, a senior private jet saleswoman in the Chinese region. However, she hasn’t wasted one second. She has been riding for 10 years and only learned to handle a mallet three years ago. That much time is still enough to become an enthusiast polo player in the emerging market of China, a country where polo is said to have been born some 2,200 years ago and now is living a “renaissance”, as she claims.
Fatin Li plays at the Metropolitan Polo Club in China and trains with professional Argentine César Hugo Palacios whenever her busy job schedule allows her to. Despite her relatively short experience in the sport, and even in riding, Fatin Li already plays tournaments and practices regularly.
“My story with polo started in Desert Palm Polo Club 10 years ago. Club owner Mr. Ali arranged a horse for me to trial ride, while I was accompanying an old friend for her polo game. That was the first horse riding experience in my life. The picture of riding a cute and sheeny polo pony, with the sunshine in Middle East, planted a polo seed in my mind,” Fatin Li told CLICKPOLO ASIA. “Then I started to practice my riding, but did so in dressage for a few years. Maybe because of my outgoing personality, I didn’t find much interest in show jumping which is a game for only one person and one horse. Three years ago, I officially started my polo training in Reignwood Polo Club in Beijing.”
Thanks to the globalized nature of her job, Fatin Li has the chance to visit and practice in many beautiful polo clubs around the world. She’s already been to Chantilly Polo Club in France, Guards Polo Academy in the UK, International Polo Club Palm Beach in the US, Polo Valley and Santa Maria in Spain, Desert Palm in UAE and King Power, Thai Polo and Polo Escape in Thailand.
“Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I started to concentrate my polo training in the Metropolitan Polo Club in China, where also I met my coach Mr. Cesar Hugo Palacios, the only Argentine pro persevering in China on the field of polo training during COVID,” she explained. “Besides weekly practices, I also tried to join different games and tournaments in the region to gain more experience. I hope to join higher level international polo games soon."
As an avid businesswoman, Fatin Li can’t devote all her life to polo, but the moment she has time to spare, she spends it playing polo. “Because of my busy work schedule, polo is almost the only sport and hobby I kept in my life. I spent almost every weekend in the past two years, plus all public holidays, annual leaves, training polo," she said. “Polo is beyond just a sport or hobby; it became an indispensable part of my life. Polo life is a lifestyle that takes away my daily stresses, brings along friendship, irrigates positive energy. This year I celebrated my birthday with a friendly polo game. I hope I can keep this up, as well as keep up both my physical and spiritual energy, to 60 even 70 years old for polo.”