A quick word with.......Nicolas Eckenstein
Club: Largovia Polo Club
Nicolas was getting ready for the prize-giving ceremony at the Swiss Low Goal Championships when I asked this polite young man for an interview. I had noticed his concentration and calm determination on the field and wanted to know more about this young Swiss player.
When and how did you get into polo, Nicolas?
I think it was about 9 years ago and so I was around 7 years of age when I stared to ride on my own. Picking up a polo mallet and hitting a ball came almost immediately, and I was able to start playing chukkers with my Dad when I was 10. We usually play together and he supports and helps me a lot.
What tournament has been your favorite so far?
This tournament, the Swiss Low Goal, is my first big tournament. It's great fun but far more serious and much faster than anything I've played before. In club chukkers the other players go easy on me, but here I feel I'm a full member of the team and am treated that way. I have to work hard and concentrate. On the first day I was nervous and was trying to hit the ball too hard. That was my biggest difficulty because then the ball doesn't fly straight.
Tell me about your favorite pony.
My favorite is Claridad. She's 7 and is having her first season in Switzerland. She has fast turns and stops easily which I like. It's hard to stand still with her. She always wants to go, and she's just such a nice horse.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, in September I'm going to college in Canada for three years. I'll be able to continue playing polo when I come back home in the summer for a two month break. Then it'll be university and study, but I love to play polo. It's the most fantastic game and I want to continue with it.
Can you give me three words that describe polo for you?
Exciting, fast, exhilarating.
Thank you for your time, Nicolas.
You're welcome, Jan.