Our promise at Town's End Outfitters has always been to bring you the top lifestyle brands for the elite amateur sportswoman in skiing, golf, tennis, sailing, equestrian and sporting. We've been so fortunate to work with and amongst some of the top brands in the world and we are proud to showcase them to you in our newest series - Behind the Seams.
We had the opportunity to catch with up with Hurlingham brand ambassador Nina Clarkin and chat about her recent U.S. Open victory and her path to becoming the highest ranking female polo player in the world.
Town's End Outfitters: How did you start playing polo?
Nina Clarkin: I started playing polo when I was 6 years old in the Pony Club in England.
Town's End Outfitters: Although men and women can play on the same team, polo is male-dominated sport. What are some of the challenges you’ve had to face as a top female player?
Nina Clarkin: To be honest I have been very lucky and always played with players who respect and value me as a player regardless of my sex. Every time I go on the polo field my aim is to play my best and to do my part for the team. If I ever do play with or against someone who doesn’t think I am any good then my aim is to have changed their mind by the end of the game!
Town's End Outfitters: How do see the sport progressing and what do you envision as the future of polo?
Nina Clarkin: At the moment women’s polo is enjoying a massive boom and it is the fastest growing sector of the sport. I see this trend continuing as we have a flurry of fantastically talented young women in the sport across the globe that are going to grow the sport and bring much talent and excitement to the sport. I hope to see more really talented women playing on more of the top platforms around the world. This year I have been fortunate enough to play on Lawns 1 at Cowdray in England, Palermo number 2 in Argentina and IPC number 1 in America. On these amazing fields we have been able to showcase the best of women’s polo and I hope that this continues as we have even more to offer! I also love that most of these top games are streamed live and it allows for much more exposure and for people to watch from wherever they are in the world. I would also like to see more women being sponsored by top International brands.
Town's End Outfitters: You just won the Women’s U.S. Open. What is next for you in the sport?
Nina Clarkin: I am playing a really fun mixed doubles tournament here in Wellington and then the WCT at Grand Champions. I am then off to England where I am playing the 15, 12 and 10 with some really great teams. I am also playing 5 of the Women’s Tournaments in England. I have a busy season ahead and I am very excited to get cracking as I have some wonderful teams to play in.
Town's End Outfitters: Winston Churchill said, “Your polo handicap is your passport to the world.” Where is your favorite travel destination and where do you hope to visit?
Nina Clarkin: This is certainly true and I am not sure I have a “favourite” destination as I have been to some wonderful places. We split our time between England and New Zealand and so I call those places home. I love going to Argentina as it is the capital of polo and I have had some fantastic experiences over there. This is my second trip to Wellington recently and I love how much polo there is going on. If you are not playing, you are able to watch top-level polo pretty much every day! Playing in Barabados and Jamaica is always a great experience and so much fun. I would love to go and play and visit Kenya and also Mongolia.
Town's End Outfitters: How did you become involved with Hurlingham Polo?
Nina Clarkin: I was approached by them a couple of years ago and for me it was a no-brainer. I loved their clothes and I loved their vision for the brand and the tight connection they have with polo and their interest and investment in the future of the sport that I love, It has been a pleasure working closely with them and I am always excited to see what they are bringing out next.
Town's End Outfitters: In three words, how do you feel wearing Hurlingham Polo?
Nina Clarkin: Stylish, comfortable and happy.
Town's End Outfitters: What are your favorite hobbies? Golf, tennis, equestrian, sailing, skiing, shooting, others?
Nina Clarkin: To be honest, I don’t have many hobbies outside of polo! That sounds awful to say but if I am not playing, I am training, or watching polo or talking about polo!! I love reading and losing myself in a good book is something I love to do. I also enjoy watersports and swimming and a day at the beach with the family is the best way to spend a day off!
Town's End Outfitters: What would your advice be to somebody looking to try polo or play at an amateur level?
Nina Clarkin: Go to your local club and ask if you can take a lesson and have a go. Once you have done that you will meet people who can help you get started and point you in the right direction.
Town's End Outfitters: What do you want your legacy to be?
Nina Clarkin: To have done everything I can to help promote, grow, and develop the sport of polo, especially the women’s side. Women’s polo is experiencing a huge surge and I really hope that we can channel this growth in to something really positive for the sport and make sure that all the talented young women polo players coming through have something to work towards and a solid future in the sport.