LEMINGTON SPA: Pakistani students’ polo team took on Great Britain’s polo team here at the historic polo fields which provided a great day out to hundreds of people who watched the thrilling match.
The match was organised by the Schools and Universities Polo Association (SUPA). Maryam Nawaz’s son Muhammad Junaid Safdar led Pakistani team which was comprised of Junaid Safdar himself from the University College London, Saif Noon from Royal Agricultural University, Sufi Haroon from University of Surrey and Taimur Noon from Royal Agricultural University.
The match was won by Great Britain after a tough competition which lasted for an hour of four intense chukkas.
Speaking to Geo News, Junaid Safdar said that although the Pakistan team lost the match the event overall was really great and “winning and losing is part of the game”.
“We will try to make sure that in future we participate more in such events. We will invite British-Pakistanis to come and witness how Pakistani students are performing. Today we fought bravely but no regrets because we lost after a brilliant game. These games are similar to Shandoor polo games of Pakistan. Pakistani team performed brilliantly. This was Pakistani talent on display and we will keep it up,” he said.
Junaid Safdar commented that Pakistani students are performing very well not only in the field of sports but also in academic fields. “Pakistanis have performed everywhere internationally but they need to be recognised. Polo is a game of patience, you need to wait for the ball with patience and then decide instantly what to do. Polo is a strategic game like chess.”
On falling from his horse during the game, Junaid Safdar said: “It happens in polo, I will check my injuries later.”
Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Zahid Hafeez Chaudhary was chief guest at the occasion and distributed prizes among the players for their individual and group performance.
He said that the Pakistani community was “strong and diversified community in the UK, they take part in all walks of life”.
The deputy high commissioner added: “It is very important and positive to take part in mainstream sports in Britain. The turnout of Pakistanis here is great and it’s a good sign. Our students have performed very well and it is very encouraging for all Pakistanis. Organising such events is much needed and community gets to come together through these events, it shows integration and cohesion of our community in the society. Such activities play very important role for integration and enhancing positive image of Pakistan.”
Sufi Haroon was declared man of the tournament for his brilliant performance. He said that he started playing polo in Pakistan and learnt skills from his family members.