“Polo has been the most influential thing in my life,” says Malcolm Borwick, British polo player. “It started out as a hobby, and was meant to be a past time during summer holidays. But now, it’s my life. It’s given me opportunities to fulfill all of the aspirations I had as a young sportsman, and it’s been a fulfilling journey.”
Today, Borwick travels the world, to not just play polo professionally, but also introduce the sport for kings to the public through polo clinics. Having played in 33 countries, the citizen of the world was most recently in Singapore in November to not just play a round of polo at the British Polo Club, but to conduct a polo clinic for Robb Report readers together with Royal Salute. Here, he speaks of his passion, family, and role as a Royal Salute ambassador.
I rejected a job offer in the private banking sector in Singapore to be a professional polo player. It was a fork-in-the-road moment for me. The economy was soaring in 2004, and many friends of mine were doing well in this city. But I was passionate about polo, and I was given the chance to play for my country. Not many people get a chance to do that. This opportunity changed my life, I never imagined having a career out of this for the past 20 years.
I’ve known Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge for over 15 years. Our friendship was forged through the course of polo. We not just play polo together, we do it to raise money for their foundation. Over the years, we’ve raised millions.
The worst thing a father can do is coach his children (when it comes to sports) when they’re too young. My middle child is four, and he’s already learning to play polo. He seems to enjoy it. But I’m in no rush for him to take it seriously just yet. What matters is that he enjoys it.
I not only play polo professionally, I go around the world and conduct polo clinics. It gives me a chance to teach others about the game of polo, and to give back to society. Royal Salute has really helped me with this. It’s not what polo can do for me, but it’s what I can do for the sport.
Royal Salute sent me a bottle of 38 Year Old — Stone of Destiny for the christening of my youngest son. I keep it for very special occasions. The whisky goes perfectly with steak that has a little bit of fat in it. It’ll cut through meat perfectly. In particular, it goes well with the steak at Table at 7. It was a perfect combination with the whisky, and one of the best meals in my life.
My favourite restaurant is probably Osaka restaurant in Buenos Aries. It’s a Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant. The food is phenomenal, and it has a couple of amazing signature dishes. Plus, it’s where my wife and I go to for a day, when we ‘escape’ from our children, and just enjoy each other’s company.
I enjoy playing golf. I think of it as a selfish sport because you’re away from home six hours at a time. But it’s a passion of mine.
I am quite a watch collector. The first watch that started the collection is a Santos de Cartier timepiece. I received in 2004, during my inaugural test match for England, where I was awarded Most Valuable Player. It’s still in its box. I’ve not worn it. There are certain things you keep to maintain their value, and this is one of them. My current pride and joy of my collection is the Piaget Polo S. Hopefully my children, godchildren, and grandchildren will be grateful for it one day.
The most thoughtful gift I’ve received is a book my mother gave me a long time ago. It’s called The Magic of Thinking Big. At 19 or 20 years of age, you need something like that to open your eyes. I still have the book with me and read it every now and then, just to keep me on track.