ENTER The A.B.C Of GTB & Lagos Int’l Polo Tournament 2019
Exclusive by Mike Cerutti Osagie
F:World Leaders Online Magazine
It is not for nothing that the game of Polo is passionately called the sports of Kings
From the word go, it has been played and enjoyed by top class elites and royalties globally, with its origin emanating from the Central Asian origin
The game of polo was first played in Persia (Iran) at dates given from the 6th century to the 1st century and the game of Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king's guard or other elite troops.
Looking back, today once can aptly say the purpose of polo is to enjoy yourself in an exhilarating game on horseback. The objective of polo is to score more than the opposing team.
While the sport of polo is older than recorded history, we know that its origins are in the inspirational relationship between humans and horses.
This special bond and the unique blending of athletic talents between horse and rider have helped polo evolve into The Sport of Kings. Little wonder The Managing Director, of one of Africa’s lead banks- Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, has never hidden his views on why GTB is deeply in love with the game of polo
WHILE recently restating his commitment to sponsoring the NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament. Agbaje, described polo as the “sport of kings” and pledged said GTBank’s continued partnership of the event which is in line with the bank’s policy of using sports to unify Nigerians.
“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.
“Our sponsorship of the 2019 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament, which has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated social and sporting events of the year, demonstrates our strong belief in the role of sports in developing and uniting our society. “He said
Played at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi, the premier polo club in the country, this year’s tournament billed to gallop from MARCH 13 2019 promises to be loaded to the hilt
Top indigenous and international polo teams are set to compete in the 2019 Lagos International Polo Tournament, , with teams competing in five main cups: Silver Cup, Open Cup, Oba of Lagos Cup, Low Cup and Majekodunmi Cup.
And in line with her international benchmark, Some of the top 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 are Chris Mckenzie, Pedro Soria, Leroux Hendrix, and Martin Waiganjo.
Renowned indigenous and international polo teams are set to convene in Lagos, Nigeria to compete for highly coveted trophies in the 2019 Lagos International Polo Tournament sponsored by leading African Financial Institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc.
The participating teams drown from all the major polo clubs across the country, include twelve Silver Cup teams, fourteen Lagos Low Cup, five medium-goal teams for Lagos Open Cup, and two heavy weight teams for the biggest prize, the Majekodunmi Cup
On his part, Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola promised that this year would get better as it has always been over the years adding that “it’s 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.
Lagos Polo Club president, Ade Laoye said the host club is rejuvenated with the continuous infrastructural upgrade stressing that the stables were removed for safety of players and horses to go with international standard.
Laoye added that aside its international touch, the coming of teams from Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt , Ibadan, Abuja and foreign professionals in this year’s tournament makes it a truly national tournament to polish the standard Nigerian players.
Lagos Polo Club Acting Captain, Rotimi Makanjuela disclosed that nine professional players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa, and professional umpires will also feature in the tournament. He also stated that over matches will be played while the tournament, remarkably, will for the fourth year running, feature a female player.
The first week billed to run 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 will run from March 20 through the weekend, with 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, the of the most valuable polo title 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.
· * De Cerutti Media Group, publishers of WORLD LEADERS ONLINE MAGAZINE wishes participants and visitors to the GTB 2019 Lagos POLO Success during and after the tourney