The Marriott family from Western Australia won’t know which field to watch at the 2012 Barastoc Polocrosse Nationals being held in Warwick, Queensland, from April 23 to 29, as they have three generations of their family involved in state teams.
Members of the well-known polocrosse family will again play an integral role in Western Australia teams, as they have done for many Nationals in the past.
Their connections with representative polocrosse run deep, with the family patriarch, John Marriott, playing for Western Australia at seven Polocrosse Nationals, during his long career in the sport.
This year at Warwick he is coaching the West Australian Masters Men’s team, and he has coached at the four previous Nationals, including Albury in New South Wales, when he was a playing coach.
John is a current member of the Moonyoonooka Polocrosse Club, and started playing when he was 12 years old for the Mobrup Polocrosse Club.
The pinnacle of his career was captaining Australia in 1991, in the test series against New Zealand, however he has also captained the W.A. men’s team at a Nationals. John said his most memorable experience was winning the Men’s competition in Darwin in 2002.
John’s father played polocrosse, as well as his sister Mandy, who is in the 2012 WA Ladies team for Warwick. His other sister, Bloss, still also plays and both her sons, Ben and BJ Thomas, are in the WA Men’s team for Warwick, as well as Ben’s wife, Suzette, who is in the W.A. Ladies team for the Nationals.
John’s wife, Pearl Marriott, also a current member of Moonyoonooka Polocrosse Club, started playing when she was 13 for the Kojonup Polocrosse Club. At 63, she is still playing competitive B Grade polocrosse, after having represented her state at five Nationals, including being selected as W.A. Ladies captain.
Pearl has managed two Nationals team, and coached at four Nationals.
At Warwick this month, Pearl is coaching the WA Under 24 Ladies team.
Her involvement in the sport of polocrosse was inherited, as both her parents,
Stan and Lorna Haggerty, started playing polocrosse from its very beginning in Western Australia.
They played for many years and bred a lot of outstanding stock horses, from which all the Marriott family’s current horses originate. Stan played for W.A. and was captain/coach at the 1972 Nationals at Cowra. Pearl’s brother, Ivan, also played for his state at the 1968, ’70, and ’80 Nationals.
The next generation of Marriott’s, John and Pearl’s son, Jeremy, is a current Member of Moorooduc Polocrosse Club in Victoria, and he has donned the W.A. colours at two Nationals and also the Victorian colours for two Nationals, plus has coached at two National carnivals.
Jeremy started playing when he was just eight for Moonyoonooka Polocrosse Club, and now his son, Lachlan, is playing for Victoria in this year’s Under 12 Exhibition competition at Warwick.
It will be a busy time for Jeremy’s family, no doubt, as his wife, Peta, is also playing at Warwick in the Victorian Masters Mixed competition.
John and Pearl’s daughter, Jane Cooper, started playing at age six, and has had a very successful representative polocrosse career, playing at eight Nationals. She was named W.A. Ladies captain at the last five titles, four of which the West Australian’s won.
This year Jane is the W.A. Ladies playing Coach for Warwick, however her success has not been confined to her state.
Jane has played four International tests, including two World Cups in Australia, and coached the United States at the 2011 World Cup in the United Kingdom. Her husband Trent Cooper is playing in the W.A. Men’s team at Warwick, and has also represented Australia at the 2003 World Cup, and the tour to Ireland in 2004.
Jane’s sister, Sarah Marriott, is a current member of the Walkaway Polocrosse Club, and like Jane, started playing at the ripe old age of six years. She has since played at five Nationals, and is heading to Warwick in the W.A. Open Mixed team. Sarah’s partner, Aiden Thurkle is playing in the W.A. Men’s team at Warwick.
John and Pearl Marriott are decidedly proud of their family’s achievements in the sport, and are looking forward to yet another successful campaign when they arrive in Warwick in a couple of weeks’ time for what each polocrosse player and spectator looks forward to every two years.