Ribadu Road agog as 33 teams set for Lagos International Polo Tournament
Organisers of the 2019 NPA Lagos Polo International Tournament sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) have revealed that the event will gallop off on March 13 at the prestigious Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi. The teams will vie for honours in four major cup categories.
The participating teams drawn from all the major polo clubs across the country, include 12 Silver Cup teams, 14 Lagos Low Cup, five medium-goal teams for Lagos Open Cup, and two heavy weight teams for the biggest prize, the Majekodunmi Cup.Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola promised an exciting tournament, adding, “it is going to be a two weeks of thrilling polo experience for the lovers of the game.”
Oyinlola who commended GTBank, which is the main sponsor, stated that having gained reputation as the biggest polo tournament in West Africa, the Lagos Polo Club look forward to delivering great values for the sponsors with the coming on board of Coca-Cola and Shell, which joined BUA, WAPIC Insurance and others in sponsoring the glamorous fiesta.
Commenting on GTBank’s sponsorship of the tournament, the bank’s Managing Director, Segun Agbaje said, “We love the game of polo, the passion and the symbiosis between the players and their horses, but most importantly, we hold a strong affinity to the sport of kings because it reflects quality, competitiveness and fair play; some of the values that have made GTBank a Proudly African and Truly International Financial Institution.”
Represented by the bank’s Manager, Corporate Affairs, Communications and External Affairs, Jide Sipe, he pledged the bank’s commitment to the development of polo in Nigeria.Lagos Polo Club president, Ade Laoye said the host club was rejuvenated with the continuous infrastructural upgrade, adding that the stables have been removed for safety of players and horses to go with international standard.
Laoye revealed that aside its international touch, the coming of teams from Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and foreign professionals in this year’s tournament made it a truly national tournament to polish the standard Nigerian players.Lagos Polo Club Acting Captain, Rotimi Makanjuola disclosed that nine professional players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa, and professional umpires would feature in the tournament. He added that the tournament would for the fourth year running feature a female player.
The first week of the competition from March 13 will see Lagos-based teams and visiting teams from Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan and Port Harcourt vying for laurels in the Silver and Open Cup respectively.The highly revered Oba of Lagos Cup, one of the biggest selected prizes, will also be decided in the first stage of the international polo extravaganza.
The second week from March 20 through the weekend will see many Lagos’ teams and visiting teams battling for the Low Cup.Two heavyweight teams from Abuja and Lagos will round off the tournament with a titanic clash for the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, one of the most valuable polo titles in Africa.
Some of the players expected to light up this year’s tournament include Tomas Fernandez Llorente, a seven-goaler from Argentina; South Africa’s Tom De Bryune +6; and Diego White a +6 handicap player from Argentina. Other professionals expected include Chris Mckenzie +6, Pedro Soria, Leroux Hendrix, and Martin Waiganjo. Polo enthusiasts will also be treated to a variety of activities ranging from thrilling performances by music stars to an exquisite experience at the exclusive GTBank Lounge where guests will be treated to epicurean cuisine and vintage wine.
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