Management of the foremost Lagos Polo Club is in a buoyant mood as some of the most renowned indigenous and international polo patrons and players will be convening in Nigeria’s economic nerve centre to compete for highly coveted trophies in the 2020 Lagos International Polo Tournament.
After a successful 2019 season with rave reviews from players, sponsors, fans and media, the prestigious Lagos International Polo Tournament returns with more teams and a star-studded lineup of players. Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola who confirms that all is set for the glamorous event, promised that this year would get better as it has always been over the years adding “it’s going to be ten days of thrilling polo experience for the lovers of the game.” Oyinlola, who commended GTBank and other sponsors, stated that having gained the reputation as the biggest polo tournament in West Africa, the Lagos Polo Club look forward to delivering great values for the sponsors and participants during the epoch fiesta.
Polo Club president, Ayo Olasoju confirmed to Polo Royals that the club is rejuvenated with the continuous infrastructural upgrade stressing that the entire club has been primed for the safety of players and horses to go with international standard. Lagos Polo Captain, Rotimi Makanjuela disclosed that professional players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa, and professional umpires will also feature in the tournament. Last year, over thirty-four ambitious teams participated in the box office event, already the 2020 lineup has surpassed that figure, and may add more entries before the draws ceremony.
The first week of the polo extravaganza that gallops off February 5 through to February 9, 2020, features Lagos and visiting teams contesting for laurels in the Silver Cup category and the highly sort after Lagos Open Cup and Oba of Lagos Cup. The high stake second week ran from February 12 to 16 packs solid punches as loaded and heavily fortified Lagos teams and ambitious visiting teams battle for the Low Cup and one of the most revered polo cups in the continent, the legendary Majekodunmi Cup.
Polo Royals checks also reveal that upbeat Lagos teams started their pre-tournament preparations, with exclusive build-up events like the Captain Cup, Santa Gold Cup, and the President Cup tournaments, to adequately prime their players and horse for the 2020 extravaganza. These tournaments paraded teams named after past presidents of the prestigious club. The series of the build-ups are usually rounded off with fun after the ring of the bell by the Club President, Ayo Olasoju to, signifying a delirious atmosphere. Polo Royals can authoritative disclosed that for a century now, major prizes on offer in Lagos include the high stake Majekodunmi Cup which is the biggest cup, the medium-goal Open Cup, Silver Cup, the low-goal Lagos Low Cup and a handful of subsidiary prizes and awards. Lagos polo is all about the highly revered Majek Cup, the tournament biggest and one of the most wanted polo prizes in the country. The allure for the title comes from the fact that the winner of this prestigious prize is crown the king of Lagos polo.
Billed for its traditional Ribadu Road Polo Ground venue, the festival to be over ten days of high impact contests and top-class entertainment, is a must-attend as most of the big names in Nigerian polo are expected to showcase their skills. As the oldest polo tournament in the country, dating back to early 1900s when the British Naval officers introduced the noble game of kings in Nigeria, the prestigious 2020 fiesta is guaranteed to be most exciting and highly competitive and lots of funs. ‘’We in Lagos are proud to have top teams from all over the country response to our invitation by attending our tournament every year. This is the birthplace of Nigerian polo and we are looking forward to maintaining our high standard as the first and the biggest ‘’, Vice President, Bode Makanjuela said. “The fact that tourists and polo enthusiasts across the continent and across Asia, Europe and the American continent; attest to the immense tourism and social values of the exciting game of kings in Lagos,” he noted with pride.
Elite, stylish and extravagant as usual, the social scene of the Lagos tournament is as much of a show as the game on the pitch with loads of entertainment and a colourful crowd that include, Obas, Emirs, Business tycoons, and society affluence lapping up the magic of the ancient noble game.
*On the Rampage… Lagos Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola (left) and Polo Captain, Rotimi Makanjuela (2nd from left) lead the charge as the campaigns for laurels hots up during the 2019 Lagos International Polo Tournament.