GMD/CEO, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe (2nd right) and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II (3rd right) presenting the Access Bank Charity Cup to the Captains of the two teams that played final of the Access Bank Cup, Babangida Hassan (4th left) and Adamu Atta (right), at the Guards Polo ground in Windsor, United Kingdom…last weekend
As part of its continued support of UNICEF, Access Bank Group, along with 5th Chukker, hosted the ‘Access Bank Polo Day’ at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor, United Kingdom last Saturday
The annual event is the climax to the high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, which is in its ninth year and is aimed at reaching out to and highlighting the plight of vulnerable children and orphans and internationally displaced persons.
Based in Kaduna, it is the biggest charity polo tournament in Africa and stimulates support for the work of the UNICEF and Access Bank initiative across Africa. This year, the bank donated an additional N10million to UNICEF for its campaign against HIV/AIDS among Nigerian children.
A new introduction to this year’s was the Emir’s Cup in honour of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II who was in attendance in Windsor throughout the afternoon. For both polo games of the afternoon, the emir made a ceremonial throw-in to begin each game.
The first game for the Emir’s Cup was between local team Delaney, patroned by Damian Duncan, and Keffi Ponies, patroned by Ahmed Wadada.
It was a tightly fought game with Diego White for Keffi Ponies scoring the first goal, followed quickly with a return from Damian Duncan for Delaney.
By half time the score was at 3-3 but Delaney quickly stormed ahead with a beautiful goal set up by Pite Merlos for Duncan to score taking their lead to 7-4. Keffi ponies came back strongly in the final chukka scoring two goals to take the final score to 7-6, with Delaney winning.
For the second game of the afternoon, the Access Bank Charity Cup, guests were treated to something very rare in polo. Not only were all four members on the field of arguably the best polo team in the world, Adolfo Cambiaso’s La Dolfina, but they were also joined by Cambiaso’s son, Poroto (Adolfo Cambiaso Jr) and his daughter Mia Cambiaso.
It was a fantastic game, showcasing the incomparable talents of the greats of Pelon Sterling, Pablo Macdonaugh, Juanma Nero and Adolfo. The teams were made up of Adamu Atta playing alongside Mia Cambiaso, Adolfo Cambiaso and Juanma Nero for Access Bank Fifth Chukker and Babangida Hassan alongside Adolfo Cambiaso Jr, Pelon Stirling and Pablo Macdonaugh.
There was great team work from both teams, with flashes of brilliance from the young stars. It was another tightly fought game with the final score finishing at 4-4.
Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe explained the reasons behind the bank’s continued support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative.
“We are conscious of our role as a change agent in Nigeria that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice and environmental considerations,” he said. “In addition, we are continually seeking ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting the children. We are part of the community and as such should support its wellbeing.”
Emir of Kano, Sanusi II, made the prize giving to the teams to bring an end to a very successful day for Access Bank and Fifth Chukker, at one of the most beautiful polo clubs in the world.
Since the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative started, it has rebuilt two schools in Kaduna and, kept more than 8000 students in continuous education, while at the same time developing new school blocks and a computer literacy building all in a more secure and friendly school environment.
The communities surrounding the schools are being supported with bore-holes for water, and sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development.