China is a country where very little polo is played, considering its size and population. That is the challenge for its polo community: getting more polo to be played all throughout the Asian giant.
Xia Yang is one of the biggest promoters of polo in China. 15 years ago he created Beijing Sunnytimes Polo Club. He currently remains active and has even started another project in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, the largest grassland in China.
-What is the history of polo in China?
"Polo has a history of more than two thousand years in China. Polo was very popular in the Song and Tang dynasties during the Han Dynasty, which originated in China."
-How did you get involved in the sport?
"In 1998 I began breeding and training Chinese polo horses based on the characteristics of Chinese horses. In 2004 I set up a new company to work with polo."
-When did you come to have your own club?
"In 2005 I created a modern Polo club in China, which I named Beijing Sunnytimes Polo Club. The same year, the club hosted the first modern Polo International Sports tournament in China.
-What do you think about polo in China?
"More and more people have begun to notice the sport and come see it and they love it. There are about 10 polo clubs in China now. Children and women are playing polo as well, and the Chinese government has also begun to show great interest in the development of polo and has proposed a plan to revitalize polo. I think it would be a good start for Chinese polo."
-What does Chinese polo need in order to grow?
"The development of polo requires the integration of multiple industries and the development of industrialization.
Event marketing through polo events will attract more people to learn and know about the sport and then participate. At the same time, a large number of industrial facilities are required to contribute to the development of the industry.
It is necessary to introduce foreign advanced horse training technology, polo training and excellent coaches and athletes to promote the development of China's polo industry. "
-You have a polo school, how does it work?
"We started training Chinese college students in polo four years ago. With it we created China's first college polo team.
We plan to train another five college polo teams in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, which is the largest grassland in China, then create an autonomous region polo league and work to popularize polo among young people."
-You do bronze casting of horses, how did this come to be?
"I have loved horses since I was a child, and I also like art. Moreover, I have lived with horses for more than 20 years, and I know them very well and have special feelings for them. Therefore, I wanted to combine my interests and hobbies, and I have crafted a realistic horse sculpture.
My sculptures have been exhibited in countries such as Australia and Turkmenistan."
-What is your dream in polo?
"I hope Chinese polo will be accepted and liked by the Chinese people, and at the same time become a popular and entertaining sport. I also hope that Chinese polo will develop better and better，and that the industry of polo will follow the same patterns than it does in Argentina."