Polocrosse celebrates 60 years of competition

Published on 06 June 2024


Saddle up! Polocrosse returns in 2024 for its 60th anniversary with support from Rockhampton Regional Council’s Community Assistance Program (CAP).

The event which is held at the Alton Downs Polocrosse and Sports Club is free for all ages and includes a jam-packed program of polocrosse with popular chukka competition under the lights returning this year on Saturday night from 6pm.

Deputy Mayor and Communities and Heritage Councillor Drew Wickerson said the program has helped support numerous local community, cultural and sporting groups, like the Alton Downs Polocrosse and Sports Club, bringing countless benefits to the Rockhampton region.

"This weekend marks a significant milestone as the Alton Downs Polocrosse and Sports Club celebrates their 60th Polocrosse Club Anniversary," Cr Wickerson said.

“Festivities will kick off on Friday evening and continue through to Sunday afternoon.

"Special occasions such as the 60 Years of Polocrosse bring the whole community together which is why we're passionate about backing them through our Community Assistance Program.

"Council's contribution of $10,000 through CAP will mean this event can continue to grow and thrive in the years to come."

Parks, Sport and Public Spaces Councillor Cherie Rutherford said the sport of polocrosse is very popular in the region, and not just for those who enjoy playing it.

"This sport, which was originally developed in Australia, is so unique to watch, particularly for the horses and the talent they must possess,” Cr Rutherford said.

“The horses do everything; they work like a camp draft horse, they have the endurance of a work horse and the speed of a racehorse with a great temperament.

“This is a fantastic event for not only our rural residents, but the wider community and I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen this sport in action to come along to the event - you won’t be disappointed.”

Alton Downs Polocrosse and Sports Club President Craig Reid said the CAP funding has made a huge difference to their annual event, resulting in a larger-than-expected crowd last year.

“We received funding last year and invested it into advertising. Having that extra bit of funding allowed us to let more people know about our event,” Mr Reid said.

“The result was massive; I couldn’t believe the amount of people who turned out for our event last year!

“We had 600 people turn up for the Saturday night so that’s back by popular demand and we’re hoping that we can see those people plus more come back again this year for the action.

“Once you see polocrosse, you’ll be amazed and you’ll want to come back to see it again.”

The committee has organised the weekend with family in mind, with free entry, a canteen operating and onsite camping.

“We’ve done what we can to keep the costs down so we can make it a great family event,” he said.

“My grandfather and grandmother, Bob and Alice Boys, started the club and this year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of it with our annual event.

“According to our count, as of this year, there are 35 descendants from him still playing polocrosse.

“It’s proof that once you’ve played it, it’s hard to get it out of your system.”

In 2024, the annual Alton Downs Polocrosse Carnival will be held from 7 to 9 June at the Alton Downs Polocrosse and Sports Club on Stanwell Waroula Road, Alton Downs.

The event received funding this year through the 2023/24 Community Assistance Program with the Alton Downs Polocrosse and Sports Club one of 30 local community events and programs to receive funding.

In its 2023/24 budget, Council invested over $290,000 across the Community Assistance Program which supports year-round community development grants, regional and local events, and five major multiyear events held throughout the year.

The next round of the Community Assistance Program is now open. Information on the program, criteria and conditions, is available here.

Applications close 8 July 2024.