HURLINGHAM POLO ASSOCIATION (HPA) - CEO

JOB DESCRIPTION

1. The HPA is the governing body for polo in the UK and Ireland and is an association of polo clubs which includes overseas clubs and associations. They form the membership of the HPA. Those who require a handicap to play in the UK or Ireland have to join the HPA as associate members.

2. Each club or association has a member of or is represented on the Council of the HPA which meets twice a year, primarily to approve the accounts in the spring and elections and appointments for the following year in the autumn but also to receive relevant reports and recommendations from the Stewards and the various committees. The objects of the HPA are summarised as:

To further the interests of polo generally, and to support by all possible means the common interests of affiliated Clubs and Associations.

  • More players 
  • More places to play 
  • Higher standard

3. The Stewards are the Board of Directors and should usually be players or former players with independent views and the good of British polo as their main object. The issues, recommendations and reports for discussion and decisions are brought to the Stewards through a number of committees and working groups. The main areas that the Stewards get involved in are:

  • Conduct of polo games generally, including arena 
  • Regulations and Rules 
  • Disciplinary Enquiries 
  • Resolution of disputes 
  • Commercial Activities and International events 
  • England teams 
  • Development ·
  • Fixtures 

4. The Chairman of the HPA chairs the two Council meetings and the Stewards’ meetings which routinely occur 3 times a year. He also chairs the Chairman’s Working Group (CWG) and the Chief Executive (CEO) has a major role in providing advice and guidance to the Chairman of the HPA who changes every four years, and to the Chairmen of the various committees and working groups. The Stewards and Committee Chairmen may often seek advice individually at different times.

5. The CWG includes the Chairmen of the Commercial Activities Board (CAB) and Standing Committees and the four 22 goal clubs should have a representative present. The CWG reviews the agenda for Stewards and tasks for the CAB and Committees against a 5 year vision and oversees the agreed tasks. Included in its current tasks are:

  • To review the governance framework, Stewards’ election process, committee composition and terms of reference to ensure the interests of the sport as a whole are properly represented and the Stewards are actively engaged across the committees 
  • To grow the sport at all levels 
  • To maintain a dialogue on player and groom immigration
  • To improve opportunities for British players: 

6. The CAB is responsible for all commercial activities, such as licensing and the brand, sponsorship, media and international events. A s a new board it is still early days and is an area where the knowledge of polo is less important.

7. The remaining committees are mainly concerned with the governance of the sport and each committee is chaired by a Steward and composed of volunteers who usually have the necessary experience. However, the CEO invariably has a key role in preparing the agenda and any papers prior to a meeting and in most cases, then plays a major role at the meeting and is also responsible for the minutes and the outcomes after it.

Umpire and Rules 

  • The HPA Rules for Polo 
  • HPA input into the International Rules Committee 
  • The structure and conduct of the professional umpire group 
  • Umpire Training 
  • Umpire Grading 

Finance and Grants

  • Members’ subscriptions and club fees 
  • Salaries and pensions
  • Budgets and accounts 
  • Grants to affiliated clubs 

Disciplinary 

  • Disciplinary rules and processes 
  • Legal matters relating to the operation of the HPA and the game of polo
  • Polo Pony Welfare through the Welfare sub-Committee 
  • Health and Safety through the Safety sub-Committee 

Handicap 

  • The HPA rules and guidelines for handicapping 
  • The handicapping of all playing members in accordance with the HPA Rules 

Development 

  • The growth of polo 
  • Communications 
  • Development of young players and the Development Squad
  • Overseas Work Experience Bursaries
  • Liaison with SUPA and the Pony Club
  • Coaching, including standardisation, training and assessment

Arena 

  • Arena Fixture List and Tournament Conditions
  • Handicapping of all registered players
  • The Rules for Arena Polo
  • Arena umpiring
  • Any International arena games at home or overseas

Selection 

  • Selection, preparation and management of the above at home or overseas of all England and England Women’s Teams 

Polo Managers

  • Tournament Conditions and fixture list for high goal and Victor Ludorum Tournaments 

8. Other tasks carried out directly by the HPA are as follows:

  • The HPA is a Passport Issuing Authority (PIA) for horse passports, working with DEFRA
  • As the governing body the HPA endorses applications for Sponsorship Licences and Migrant Endorsements, working with the Border Agency in Sheffield and DCMS in London
  • The HPA works with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for polo which is chaired by Mark Garnier MP. The secretary is Siobhan Barney
  • The annual Year Book and pocket rule book

9. The CEO also represents the HPA on the Executive Committee of the FIP as a non-voting member and on the International Rules Committee. For the latter, he normally organises the meetings and agenda and writes the minutes. The other members are USPA and AAP.

10. The CEO is also secretary of the Polo Charity. It has a separate set of up to 5 trustees of whom one shall be the Chairman of the HPA. The objects of the trust are wide and include assistance to:

  • Professional players who have been injured or are retraining for another career
  • Those in full time education and HM Forces 
  • Welfare of ponies 
  • Other Charities 
  • Courses and Research 

11. The HPA office is based in a farmyard near Faringdon, Oxfordshire, SN7 7LW with good parking. It has 7 desks, two loos and a small kitchen on one floor with a second floor above used for storage. The staff and the breakdown of responsibilities is as below:

Olly Hughes:  Licensing, Sponsorship, Arena, Development, Junior HPA, Pony Club, Umpiring, Home Office,Clubs including affiliations and visits.

Lucy Lewis: Accounts, Discipline, England Squad, Events & Polo Charity

Lucinda Wright: Membership, Handicaps, Database, Website, Rule & Year Books, VL Checks 8 goal and above, Visa endorsements, Compliance, Flag count of players, Social Media,

Caroline Keen: Coaching, Welfare, Passports, Safeguarding (Part time)


Particular skills and experiences required to fulfil the role as CEO to HPA

The role is a full time appointment, although outside the summer season there could be some flexibility as to time commitment and working location.

The successful candidate will have a critical blend of skills and experiences required in performing a challenging but rewarding role as the CEO to HPA.

  • Personable, high integrity and natural gravitas 
  • Able to provide strong leadership to the HPA central office team and quickly gain the confidence and respect of the team
  • Able to establish a good working relationship with the Chairman and Stewards of the HPA, providing clear guidance and advice across a range of matters
  • Have the necessary diplomatic skills to engage with patrons at all levels, players, clubs and overseas associations
  • Have leadership experience working in a Sports Governing Body structure or a detailed understanding and experience of polo as a sport (as either a player or administrator)
  • Have experience or background in developing commercial / sponsorship relationships required to support the CAB. (and have the enthusiasm to make this a key priority in performing the role)
  • Play a vital role in creative thinking and engagement with the Stewards in considering the future of the HPA, the governance structure of the sport, our future relationships with other overseas governing bodies and the direction of the sport as a whole
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills, good public speaker and strong IT skills
  • A willingness to travel widely during the summer across the UK to support clubs and events during the season. (with some overseas travel commitments also required)
  • Good knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage given the importance of relations with the AAP. 

If the candidate came from within the sport, this person would need to give up paid professional playing commitments as a player or any specific club affiliations should they come from another aspect of the game.

Please apply by sending your CV together with a short covering note to daryl.mason@hartmannmason.com Alternatively, please email Daryl to arrange a call to discuss the position.

Closing date for applications: 15th September 2021

We welcome applications from all sections of the community, regardless of age, race, colour, sex, marital status, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, disability or sexual orientation.