Record 39 teams begin quest for honours in ‘brand new’ Lagos Polo Club
There is an air of optimism blowing around the Lagos Polo Club, venue of the NPA International Polo Championship, which begins today.Members and officials of the club are on a high. It is that period of the season when they host the best polo players from across the world, but their excitement has been elevated by the quality of the turf they are presenting to the world.
The Lagos Polo Club has totally changed in every aspect… from the turf to the hospitality lounges. Speaking on the competition yesterday, Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola said the conditions are good for great polo.
“The club looks more like the Lords Club in England than what you will see anywhere in Africa.“Apart from the venue, we are also primed to host a record 39 teams and up to 1,000 horses here. We cannot wait to see our stars in action on this pitch.”
Also speaking on the competition, which has GTBank as its major sponsor,Lagos Polo Club president, Ayo Olashoju commended the sponsors for keeping faith in Lagos Polo Club, adding that the relationship between Lagos Polo Club and the sponsors is borne out of common shared values and reputation for quality.
Jide Sipe of the Corporate Communications and External Affairs Dept of GTBank pledged the A-tier banking institution’s unremitting commitment to the tournament.He pointed that GTBank has been the main pillar behind the Lagos International Polo Tournament vowing their renewed vigour in adding to the success of the tournament in many years to come.
The first week of the dual phase tournament would commence with Lagos Wontra and Lagos Almina Group slugging it out in the Wapic Insurance sponsored Silver Cup, while the other match on the opening day pits Lagos Dania A+ against Lagos Golden Alchemy. In total, 15 teams will jostle for the Silver Cup, 10 of which are from Lagos, while two teams are from Ibadan and three are from Kano.
The Open Cup will feature five teams with Port Harcourt Wiltten Aviation contesting alongside Lagos Shorelines, Lagos STL and Lagos Leighton Sap Polo.
The Low Cup – sponsored by Arbico – would commence hostilities in the final week and would feature 16 teams of which 12 are from Lagos with Kano (2) Ibadan and Kaduna presenting a team each. There would be two streams of which the top two teams would battle in the semi-finals and final scheduled for February 9.
The prestigious Majek Cup, which traditionally closes the tournament, will feature four teams with some of the best players from Argentina, South Africa and others displaying their skills. Also on the look out will be Neku Atawodi-Edun, Africa’s highest handicapped female player (+5), who will feature with Natalie Allen, the only female to have featured in the last three editions. Four teams, two from Lagos and a team each from Jos and Abuja will slug it out and the two teams that prevailed in their head-on confrontation keeping their place on the final day February 16.