"In Nusantara we are determined to promote polo in Indonesia: we want to popularize it"
POLO IN INDONESIA
Polo players are often nomads by nature, travelling from country to country to play polo. However, Nicolas Curto's story is different. He's from Argentina, from a small province called Entre Rios, 500kms away from Buenos Aires. In one of his first trips through the world he visited Indonesia and decided radicate there.
Now, at the age of 32, he's been in the country for 13 years as polo manager of the Nusantara Polo Club, the most important in the country, and he even coaches the National team.
"I'm involved in polo because of my family. I'm from Entre Rios, Buenos Aires, 5 hours away from Buenos Aires. Back there, my father Gabriel Curto had a club called Virgen Morena, which was founded in 1993. I started playing polo when I was young thanks to him, he was very passionate about the sport. I owe him everything I am today, I inherited polo as a passion and a profession from him, as well as my personal values."
-How did you start travelling throughout the world?
"I started playing polo overseas in 2006, when I travelled to England with Federico Speciale. The following year, I worked with Tolo Fernandez Ocampo, who is a lifelong friend. He's a great person, who has taught me a lot and helped me see polo from a different point of view. He was a role model for me and I'll always be thankful to him.
In 2007 I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand to help Indonesia debut in the Sea Games. After a few months there, after the Sea Games were over, I stayed to play a few tournaments and keep working for the organization.
My patron, Prabowo Subianto, asked me to help him with the Nusantara Polo Club project, which was being built, and also the Indonesian National Team. I was 19 years old, and I decided to stay over and help with the project... and I've been here for 13 years now."
-How is polo in the club?
"In Nusantara, we are determined to promote polo in Indonesia: we want to popularize it. We host tournaments and events with overseas teams, who bring their pros here. We also host events with the local members, and play around Asia a lot. We also played outside of the continent too, of course, like in Argentina and France. We have amazing work staff and the National Team is very competitive in Asia and the Asian South East. I am the coach and we got the Gold in the All Asia Cup 2014, plus two silvers, and a bronze. We also got a low goal Bronze medal in the last Sea Games in the Philippines, which were played at the Miguel Romero Polo Club. I want to mention the players, as they've done incredibly well in these tournaments: Novel A. Momongan, Billy Barsel, Acep Krisnandar, Glendy Buyung, Fahmi Akmal, Dwira Roring, and Riko Lianto."
-How is polo in Indonesia?
"It's low goal polo, similar to most of SouthEast Asia, but it is clearly improving as years go by. It's always nice and competitive, and we play with friends, inviting new people and new clubs and the ones we've established a relationship with as well!"
-What does it need to develop?
"You need everything a big organization needs... to be bigger! More horses, more pros, more fields, more competition locally. Hosting more tournaments, as well. However, slowly, eventually, it's growing. Thank God we are preparing for these projects."