Big names in the Nigerian Polo calendar will be vying for top honours at the prestigious MTN powered Katsina Polo tournament starting on Saturday. The tourney will gallop off in grand style at the legendary Usman Nagogo Polo Ground, in Katsina State.
According to organisers, this edition promises to be the most competitive and the most exciting in years with the solid backing of the leading ICT Company, MTN, which has been supporting the game for over a decade now.
As the first tournament of the Nigerian Polo season, the Katsina grand event is clearly one of the biggest annual tournaments in the country. It has continued to attract the biggest crowd from far and near. Since its inception in the early 1920s, Katsina Polo festival has always been a must-attend for all the top teams around the country.
At the last count, a record number of 35 teams, an unprecedented number of 800 thoroughbred horses and over 300 battle-ready players have been confirmed for the MTN- powered polo fiesta that attracts special delegations and enthusiasts from Benin and Niger Republics, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso.
The visiting teams are expected from Kaduna, Zaria, Sokoto, Abuja, Keffi, Bauchi, Minna, Jos, Yola and Port Harcourt who would be flying the flag of the Niger Delta in the tournament.
The General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN, Kola Oyeyemi, who spoke through the Sponsorship and Events Manager, MTN, Dola Bamgboye, reiterated the readiness of the leading ICT company, to once again support the “King of Games and Game of Kings” in Katsina this year.
He further stated that “In line with our position as an organisation which seeks to support the distinct lifestyle of its various customers, we have put everything in place to make this year’s edition one of the most memorable.”
There will be an MTN Innovation Day, which will showcase various life-enriching innovative products and services, specifically designed for its teeming customers and the Northern elite.
Major trophies to be carted home by victorious teams that will grace the fiesta are, the Nigerian Cup, which is the tournament’s biggest prize, the General Hassan Katsina Cup, the Talba Cup, the Coomassie Cup and the MTN Cup.
Other prestigious prizes also at stake include the Vice President Cup, the Governor Cup, Muhammadu Kabir Cup, Usman Nagogo Memorial Cup, Dikko Memorial Cup, Lawal Kaita Cup and Maidabino Cup.
With the guaranteed presence of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Katsina and Life President of the Nigerian Polo Federation, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman, the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who is expected as the Special Guest of Honour, as well as a long list of political bigwigs, diplomats, captains of industry and first class emirs.