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Friday, 16 May 2014

Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament Opens


L – R

Pix 1
Ms. Jean Gough,  UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Victor Etuokwu, Executive
Director, Access Bank Plc and Adam Taylor, Fifth Chukker Tournament  Manager at the
Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield pre-tournament press conference in Lagos today.
Twenty-four high-powered polo teams from across the globe are gearing up for Africa’s premium polo extravaganza as the annual Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament commences at the Fifth Chukker Lawns of Kangimi Resort in Kaduna from May 20 to June 7, 2014.
The month-long tournament sponsored by Access Bank is in its 7th year running. The Access Bank Charity Shield was inaugurated by Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club in 2003 as a fund raising platform to support local charity organizations.  Since 2006, however, this effort has been exclusively geared towards UNICEF’s intervention projects for orphans and vulnerable children.
The Access Bank-UNICEF polo fiesta which has been the biggest sporting attraction in Nigeria and indeed Africa for over a decade, promises to be competitive and exciting, with the introduction of the brand new Fifth Chukker Cup. The annual tournament has established itself as the biggest and greatest attraction, regularly pulling some of the most accomplished players in world, royalty and heavy hitters in politics and industry.
The low-goal Fifth Chukker Cup gallops off May 20th, with ten equally matched teams jostling to make history as it first winner, is billed to climax on Sunday, May 25, at the lush lawn of Kangimi Resort in Kaduna. Teams vying for the low goal title are Sheyi Oyinola’s SAO Polo who is set to rekindle their rivalry against Hakeem Shagaya’s Unity Polo after their much talked about Dansa Cup clash in Lagos last February.
Others include Engineer Sani Umar’s Kano Susplan who is seeking to improve from their Lagos Low Cup runners’ up finish recently, and Louis Enriguez powered Goly Polo team which is set t arrive from Spain for the polo tourney.  The list also include Yusuf Garba’s Kaduna Yula Farms, Opaque Liberty, Ibah Oil & Gas, Niyya Farms, Optimum Riders and Babaduna Kaloma led Terra E&P that has been part of the Charity Shield in the past three years in the Access Bank Cup category.
Fifth Chukker Polo Captain, Babangida Hassan Katsina who disclosed the list of participating teams, expressed delight that the charity event has grown to become one of the biggest humanitarian events on the continent, insisting that his polo is proud to continue in its development of this established partnership with Access Bank and UNICEF.
“Fifth Chukker is proud to continue in its development of this established partnership with Access Bank and UNICEF. The level of play continues to raise the bar in Nigerian polo and captures a truly international following; the charity work follows in a similar fashion,” Babangida added.
He also added that Fifth Chukker is proud to welcome Mr. Kanu Nwankwo, Nigerian ex-international footballer as the 2013/2014 Charity Ambassador who will represent Fifth Chukker on charity initiatives concerning the welfare of the vulnerable and underprivileged children of Nigeria.
Earlier, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu had said that proceed from sale of memorabilia at the annual tournament in addition to the N10million donation from Access Bank doubled from the annual N5million, would be used to support UNICEF in its campaign against HIV AIDS pandemic projects for orphan and vulnerable children”.

“This year’s tournament is more than an affirmation of our commitment to socio-economic wellbeing of mankind and acknowledgement of the impact the initiative has had on the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable children northern Nigeria especially in Kaduna state; it is also an opportunity for providing special care for Access Bank’s customers through our Private Banking services”.

“Access Bank’s sponsorship of the tournament is as a result of the similarities in the tournament’s objective and the Bank’s relentless campaign against the pandemic,” Etuokwu pointed out, adding that Access Bank is committed to supporting the charity shield event which is organized in partnership with UNICEF and the Fifth Chukker Polo tournament.

“UNICEF looks forward to expanding this partnership to advocate the realisation of children’s rights with special focus on safe and friendly school environments and early marriage says Jean Gough”, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria

So far, more than N100 million has been raised during the charity event, for underprivileged children in northern Nigeria and this has been hailed as a huge achievement for a sporting resort that began only ten years ago, and one that will ensure the success of the ‘Game of Kings’ in Nigeria for many years to come.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

2014 LAGOS POLO: Ironclad/5th Chukker wins Majek cup, Ark Polo/Goodfellows wins Low cup..


The 2014 Lagos polo international tournament rounded up yesterday in a compromising situation as the club's battle ground continued it's make shift position, once again, due to weather condition. While the match between Ironclad 5thchukker vs Lagos Auden/Delaney continued in the Ajah Imeko ground, owned by Femi Otudeko, guest were chilling at the Ribadu ground of the Lagos polo club to witness the cup presentation and the closing ceremony of the 2014 Lagos international polo tournament which had MTN and Guaranty trust bank as its major sponsors amidst other numerous sponsors.

The tournament was a good outing for the lagos teams as they claimed most of the titles, especially the highest celebrated cup of the tournament, the Majekodunmi cup. Ironclad Fifth Chukker beat city rivals Lagos Auden/Delaney 13-11 to the Majekodunmi Cup, while Lagos Goodfellows also won the Low Cup.

The Majek Cup match which took place at the Brightwater saw fierce challenge from the Delaney team whose hope to claim their second title was dashed having won the independence Cup last Friday by beating T.J Dantata's Kano Titans.
The First face of the tournament saw the Lagos 5th chukker claimed the Open Cup, while Lagos Unity Polo won the Dansa cup.

However, the Ibadan teams showed up another disappointing outing as they could not bag any title. "we shall work on our flaws" said Koyin Owoeye, Captain of Ibadan Polo club, who also attributed their poor performances to lack of polo players.

The 2014 Lagos international polo tournament also saw first timers like, Olugbile Halloway, Seyi Oyinlola having their first ever encounter on the polo field. "I am in at last said Olugbile who has waited anxiously to see himself play during the tournament. The tournaments also put up an evening of relaxation and entertainment. Many guest will talk about it four years to come as they were thrilled to a night out of music, comedy, fashion and performances from artists like, Harry Song, Lynxx, Wiz Kid, Kacee and M.I. It was indeed a star studded event.

Obafemi Otudeko of The Chukkers was voted as the MVP of the prestigious Majek Cup, while Maya, from the stable of the Ironclad was adjudged the best playing pony was given to Maya from the stables of the champions.

Other sponsors of the 2014 Lagos International polo tournament are: Veuve Clicquot, Union Bank, Chapel Hill & Denham, UBS, Unity Bank, Caverton Group, Dansa Foods Ltd/Dangote, Southern Sun Hotel, Smooth FM, Beat FM, Delaney, Total, Polo Limited, Sony, Powerhorse and Avion Continental Group are co-sponsors.
-Joseph Odika

Friday, 28 February 2014

Lagos Goodfellows and Kano Aitek for Semi finals.

Lagos Goodfellows beat Petrosmith 5-3 and Kano Aitek also defeated Ibadan Oluyole 6-5 as  both winnings teams booked  their places in the semifinal of the Low Cup as the 2014 Lagos Polo International Tournament drifts to its climax this weekend.
Another Kano team, Titans also bagged a win in day 8 of the 10-day twin-phased tournament as they beat Lagos HST 6-2½ to enhance their chance of progressing from the stream 2 while Ibadan Eleyele lost 6-5 to Raven Rojo in the eight-team cup. 
Titans were defeated 6-5½ by city rivals Susplan in the first match and knowing they needed a win to avoid an exit, they opened score  through Ibrahim Audu's  was in the first chukka only for but Mohammed Mudeihli hits back for HST who ended the chukka leading 1½-1 due to their handicap inferiority.
Audu scored two quick goals -the second of which was a belly shot- to give Titans a comfortable 4-1 lead to end the chukka. Further goals by Sani Umar and Jamilu Umar in the third chukka puts daylight between the sides.
Audu signed off his man-of-the-match display when he finished off a breakaway move for his side's sixth goal making Ali Safieddine's goal for the Lagos side academic.
Two more trophies are up for grab today as Kano Keffi Ponies and Lagos Ironclad Fifth Chukker vie for the Italian Ambassador's Cup while two of the teams in the semifinal of the Low  Cup battle for the Lagos Governor's Cup.

The championship ends tomorrow with the Beginners Cup, Open Cup and Majekodunmi Cup up for grabs. 
Lukman.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

2014 Lagos Low cup honors fiercely competed for.

The Lagos Polo club which has now become a makeshift due to atmospheric condition resumed action again at the Ribadu ground after a match was played yesterday at Femi Otudeko Farm where the Ironclad/5thChukker beat Kano Titans. The first match of the day between Kano susplan and Kano Aitek kicked-off at exactly 1:pm under a torrid atmospheric condition.
Jemilu Umar drew the first blood of the opening match after he broke away from the center of the field down to the left flank of the opponent goal area to the the goal post. It was an injury infested match as Swedih Abdulahi fell from his horse several times which put the match into several stopish situation for several minutes. The game ended 6-3 1/2 in favour of Kano Susplan.
The Kano Aitek and Kano Susplan both from Kano, battle to pick a ticket to play in the final of the Lagos Low cup.

The second match of the day between Ibadan Oluyole and Lagos HST ended 7-1 in favour of the Lagos HST. It was a disappointing outing for the Ibadan team as they bow down to the supremacy of the Lagos HST team.

Ibadan Eleyele tried to redeem the image of the Ibadan teams as they fought fiercely against the will power of the Lagos petroSmith in the third match of the day.
The Ibadan team dominated the first two chukkas. Some of the spectators interviewed by our correspondence were optimistic that the Ibadan team would win due to their dominance but it was so much for the optimism as Lance Watson took over the game in the third and final chukkas scoring from every angle to put the PetroSmith team forward and eventual 7 - 4 1/2 victory against Ibadan Eleyele.

However, in the fouth match of the Lagos low cup, Lagos Raven Rojo suffered humiliating defeat from the Lagos good fellows 4 1/2-12, while the last match of the day is still on as at the time this story is been compiled.
Joseph odika

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Lagos Int'l Polo: Kano beat Lagos teams to sweep titles


Kano Ashbert Titans yesterday emerged winners of the Majekodunmi Cup beating Lagos Ironclad Shorelines 12- 11 as the 2013 Lagos Polo International Tournament ends in an exhilarating way at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi .
The win completes a memorable tournament for teams in the northern state with Kano RTC beating Lagos Caverton in the Low Cup final of the event which has MTN and GTBank as major sponsors.
Toto Gerardo Collardin was the star man of the day helping Titans to hold on to their one-goal handicap advantage heading to the sixth and final chukka.
With last year’s winners and finalists Linetrale Delaney and Fifth Chukka fallen by the way side, Shorelines scored the first open goal with Ahmadu Umar connecting Julio Novillo-Estrada’s pass but Toto was on hand to restore his side’s lead to end the first chukka.
A plus-seven handicapper, Toto again broke free from the middle of the field and set himself up with a with a60-yard pass before smashing a shot from the goal mouth to widen their lead 3-1. Albert Esiri was the next player to shine for Titans scoring in succession to give his side a 5-1 lead. Thereafter, Eduado Menendez also scored two quick goals but Toto managed to connect the ball with his mallet after Joaquin Pitaluga’s shot stopped just some few yards in the goal area. There was still more time for Eduado to score twice as the chukka ended 6-5.
Scores at the end of the fourth chukka stood at 9-7 as Toto scored three more while Eduado and Julio also hit target. The handicap goal was the difference between t sides by the end of the fifth chukka with Eduardo and Toto scoring once each to keep the tie close heading to the last chukka of which a solitary goal by Toto clinching the biggest Polo trophy in Nigeria.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Linetrale Delaney clinch Independence Cup

..as HST win Governor's Cup



A dominant second and third chukka performance helped Linetrale Delaney recovered a three-goal deficit to beat Lintex Anadariya 10 - 8 in the Lagos International polo Tournament which ends today. The win ensured that they win the Independence Cup and they are also on course for the Majekodunmi Cup which they are the defending champions.
Anadariya, who also had Usman and Bashir Dantata, had caused the biggest upset by beating Fifth Chukker on Wednesday and they showed their determination to go all the way by leading 4-1 after the opening two chukkas.
 Five straight goals –two in the third chukka and another three in the fourth chukka - swung the game in favour of Linetrale who led 6-4 by the close of the fourth chukka. Raul Lapalcette amended for his missed shot to close draw Anadariya close and almost immediately, he broke away to score a brilliant individual goal to level proceedings at 6-6.
Anadariya regained the lead as Lapalcette converted a 40-yard penalty for 7-6 but Mustapha Fasinro was rewarded for his great play by scoring a low shot to tie the match 7-7 heading to the sixth and last chukka.
Marcelo Pasqual and Laplacette both failed to convert their penalties from 60 and 40 yard respectively but Damien Duncan puts away his effort under pressure from Santiago Cernadas. Marcelo then scored back-to-back to give Linetrale a 10-7 lead before Cernadas scored to make the scoreline look respectable.
The day’s first match saw HST beat Bell Oil & Gas 5-3 to win the Lagos Governor’s Cup.
Sunday’s matches will see Lagos Caverton and Kano HST battle in the final of the Lagos Low Cup while the Majekodunmi Cup will round off the polo fiesta which has MTN and GTBank as its major sponsors.