Some of the most renowned indigenous and international polo teams have converged on Lagos to compete for highly coveted trophies in the 2018 Lagos International Polo Tournament.
Sponsored by leading African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the competition will see both Nigerian and foreign teams compete in four main cups, namely: the Silver Cup, Open Cup, Lagos Low Cup and Majekodunmi Cup.
The first week of the polo extravaganza starting today February 13 through February 18 will see teams compete in the Silver Cup which has eight home teams and six visiting teams while Open Cup will feature four teams all of which are from Lagos.
The second week will run from February 21 to 25 with seven Lagosâ€™ teams and seven visiting teams battling for the Low Cup while Lagos Fifth Chukker and Kaduna Keffi Ponys will round off the tournament with a titanic clash for the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, the most valuable polo title in polo in West Africa.
Over the years, GTBank has been at the forefront of supporting polo; widely revered as the sport of kings, and promoting the Lagos International Polo Tournament, which has hosted reputable personalities such as His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
Some of the players expected to light up this yearâ€™s tournament include Manuel Crespo, a seven-goaler from Argentina; South Africaâ€™s Leroux Hendricks +5; and Juan Gustavo another +7 handicap player from Argentina.
Other professionals expected include Cieza Patricio +6, Adamu Atta, Mohammed Babangida +3, Hassan Babangida +3, Augustine Canale +6, Mario Gomez +4 and Martin Juaregi +4. For the third year running, Natalie Alan is to feature as the only female player in this edition.
Polo enthusiasts will also be treated to a variety of off-the-pitch 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.
Commenting on GTBankâ€™s sponsorship of the 2018 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament, Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Segun Agbaje, said; â€œWe 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.â€
Speaking at media session to herald the 2018 edition yesterday, Tournament Director, Seyi Oyinlola, promised that this year will get better as it has been over the years adding that itâ€™s going to be a two-week of thrilling polo experience for the lovers of the game.
Oyinlola who commended main sponsor of the tournament, GTBank added that having gained reputation as the biggest polo tournament in West Africa, the Lagos Polo Club looks forward to delivering great values for their sponsors. Coca-cola and BUA are sponsoring two of the trophies on offer.
Lagos Polo Club President, Ade Laoye, said the host club has been rejuvenated with the continuous infrastructural upgrade.
He stressed that the stables were removed from their former location for safety of players and horses in line with international best standard.
Laoye added that aside its international touch, the coming of teams from Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt and Ibadan in this yearâ€™s tournament makes it a truly national tournament