Philly kids compete in the sport of kings

January 24, 2008 6:11:22 PM PST
This is the story of the first African Amercian polo team in the country.

Polo is known as "The Sport of Kings" -- throughout history reserved for the world's elite.

Thanks to Work to Ride, polo has come to Philadelphia, exposing kids to a sport they otherwise would never played and, in so doing, keeping them away from the drugs and violence that often rule their neighborhoods.

These kids have earned scholarships to Valley Forge Academy, have gone on to college, and strive to become pilots, veterinarians, lawyers, and even professional polo players.

Work to Ride was created in 1994 by Lezlie Hiner to provide disadvantaged children from Philadelphia with constructive activities in Fairmount Park centered on horsemanship, equine sports and education.

While most participants are trained in several sports, polo has proven to be the perennial favorite.

In 1999, the Work to Ride polo team became the first African American polo team in the nation, and in 2005 the team won the Eastern Regional Interscholastic Polo tournament.

Putting one child through the Work to Ride program costs $10,000-$12,000 per year, funded entirely on private donations.

To learn more about the program, visit the website