UK polocrosse win from Scobie sponsorship

Blackall saddlers help UK polocrosse team play in 2019 World Cup


Sport
Jane and Duncan Scobie outside their Blackall shop with its familiar mascot.

Jane and Duncan Scobie outside their Blackall shop with its familiar mascot.

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They operate a business deep in the heart of Queensland but Duncan and Jane Scobie have thrown their support behind an overseas polocrosse team for the upcoming World Cup in Warwick.

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They operate a business deep in the heart of Queensland but Duncan and Jane Scobie have thrown their support behind an overseas polocrosse team for the upcoming World Cup in Warwick.

The Blackall saddlers, well-known faces on western Queensland horse sport circuits, are supplying the eight-member UK team with saddle cloths and under saddle cloths.

It's a donation they estimate would be valued at $1200 or more if the team was to buy the equipment out of a shop in Australia.

Jane said it had come about because they already supply one of the team members, Kerry Bean, with polocrosse equipment she can't get in the UK, and because the team had approached them for assistance.

"They approached us because they didn't want to have to lump a whole heap of gear out here and then drag it all the way back so they were looking for Australian suppliers," Jane said. "That would be things like bell boots, bandages, saddle cloths, all that sort of stuff."

The Scobies drew the line at sponsoring the full paraphernalia, saying to do so would have meant withdrawing support for other sporting events locally and regionally.

Read more: Queensland polocrosse night of nights

They are already major sponsors of the Queensland club championships being hosted by the Bauhinia club later this year.

Once the Australians got wind of their support for the UK team they were cajoled into some support for the homegrown team as well.

"It kind of blew out a bit, and once the Irish got wind that we were sponsoring the UK team, they approached us," Jane said. "We had to say, we can't sponsor everybody, find somebody else."

The UK team will be playing with a wholly Australian-made product though, and supporting small industry in regional Queensland.

Jane said a person at Chinchilla had been contracted to make the saddle cloths, complete with the UK World Cup logo, and they were all made from Australian wool kersey.

The 2019 Adina World Cup, to be held in Warwick from April 22 to 28, is an exciting time for people like the Scobies who have been involved in the sport for "eons".

Duncan and Jane Scobie have been staunch supporters of sporting events in western Queensland.

Duncan and Jane Scobie have been staunch supporters of sporting events in western Queensland.

Duncan began his playing career with Davenport Downs in Queensland's west in the late 1970s and their children are both playing now, Lucas for Bauhinia and Hannah for Albury-Holbrook in the NSW competition.

"I had a comeback a couple of years ago and decided, maybe I was better off driving the truck," Jane laughed. "It doesn't take so long to recover from that."

They know the family of one of the UK team members, Jason Webb, from their years working in NSW, and his brother-in-law Will Weston is in the Australian team.

As well, the Scobies have a nephew playing for NSW in the Barastoc interstate series taking place at the same time as the World Cup.

Jane said she was looking forward to watching top-level polocrosse all round.

Related: Australia's World Cup polocrosse team announced

Described as the biggest international sporting event ever to be held in rural Australia, it will involve more than 60 of the world's best players from eight countries - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, USA, UK and Ireland.

Polocrosse is one of only three home-grown Australian sports, along with Australian Rules football and campdrafting, and will be celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2019.

Promoters say the Australian team, currently ranked third in the world, will attempt to regain the cup on home soil after losing it to South Africa in 2011.

Jane agreed that Australia and South Africa were the likely finalists.

"South Africa is so strong, but they play a totally different game to Australia," she said.

"The Australians play a ball-carrying game - South Africans just stand at one end and throw it.

"It's really interesting to watch because as soon as someone comes up on them they hoick that ball right up there somewhere.

"It's really difficult to play against them. The Zambians probably play similarly too."

Read more: Tambo hosts State of Origin polocrosse

The story UK polocrosse win from Scobie sponsorship first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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