The game of Polocrosse was first introduced to Papua New Guinea in the late 50's at the Annual Agricultural Show in Rabaul, New Britain. Due to its isolation and lack of suitable horses, it was only used as a demonstration sport. During the 60's, the Koitake Club was formed in Papua, but it was in August 1973 that the foundation was formed for the first PNG representative team. The venue chosen was the Papuan Turf and Equestrian Association grounds at Bomana, Port Moresby and a field was established in the centre of the racecourse, with an adjacent practice field.
Officially, the PT&EA Polocrosse Club was formed late October 1973. The Foundation President was Owen Genty-Nott, who had earlier demonstrated the sport in Rabaul and who was an ex-NSW A-grade player from the Ingleburn Club. Joanne Bell-Booth was Secretary backed by a keen committee and interested members, all keen to learn the game. Coaching was handled by Genty-Nott assisted by two ex-Koitake players,Tony Hearne and Fred Kleckham.
Owen Genty-Nott - Foundation President and Coach. January 1974
Due to lack of opposition clubs, teams were formed in threes and practice games took place on Wednesdays and Sundays. A player handicap system was introduced similar to Polo. As play improved, demonstration chukkas were played between races in front of the race track grandstand with at times a thousand or more spectators. Polocrosse races were held as well as the hotly contested club team games and by January 1974, the first major Polocrosse carnival was held at the Vince Nielsen Park, Bomana, with nine teams competing. A series of knockout games were played for the newly introduced Foundation President's Shield, resulting in Genty-Nott's team taking out the shield 3-1 against strong opposition.
Other foundation members of the PT&EA Club were Frances Sadler (Publicity), Ian Howard, Geoff Sadler, Joe Alexander, Brian and Sandy Hubbard, Brian and Margaret Belfrage, Ian Irving, Brian Audas Graeme Dent and Abala Tanuabada.
Extract from the PNG "Raunabout" magazine of 8th February 1974:
The presentation of the Foundation President's Shield to Captain, Owen Genty-Nott, marked a milestone in the club's development. It signified the culmination of five months of solid development, but also signified the end of an era, for the Shield was introduced by the members in appreciation of the work done by Owen Genty-Nott, who leaves Papua New Guinea in less than two weeks after fifteen years in the Territory. The gap will be a hard one to fill - few people could have done as much to get a young club established, and generate as much enthusiasm about a new sport as Owen Genty-Nott with the game of Polocrosse" (Francis Sadler).
Joe Alexander, Brian Hubbard, Ian Howard, Sandy Hubbard
Joanna Blenner-Hasset, Margaret Belfrage
Papuan Turf and Equestrian Association Polocrosse Club
First Representative Team - 1974