Polo activities at the nation’s premier polo club, the Lagos Polo Club, is set to return after months of forced lockdown due to the COVID-19Pandemic. President of the club, Ayo Olasoju who disclosed in an interview said as the lockdown eases; the club is planning to immunize all the horses against the African Horse Disease (AHD). Polo Royals checks reveal that the premier polo club would also, carry out thorough fumigation of the entire premises and its environs, ahead of gradual practices that would lead to fulltime preparation to resuming the remaining part of the season.
Olasoju also disclosed in the online interview that despite the easing of the virus, full chukkas and tournament may likely not return till after the rains. “Since the season follows the prevailing weather condition we are looking to playing our intra-club tournaments that would be rounded up with the 2021 Lagos international polo tournament early next year.” The Lagos polo boss further stated that the immunization period would last for between six to eight weeks before the horses start gradual trainings. This is part of the club’s effort at safeguarding the safety of the ponies that are at the heart of the noble game of kings.
Polo Royals also gathered that other clubs are also setting out guidelines toward reopening the clubs to full-time polo activities across the county, whenever government lift the suspension of outdoor sporting activities. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom government and the Hurlingham Polo Association for which Nigeria is affiliated to, have given the go-ahead for elite athletes and polo to return to contact training – when individual sports deem it safe to do so.
Polo Royals can also reveal that this gradual return is expected to begin with groups of two or three athletes, then progressing to groups of four to 12 and ultimately full team training, Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said. “We are absolutely clear that individual sports must review whether they have the appropriate carefully controlled medical conditions in place before they can proceed, and secure the confidence of athletes, coaches and support staff. “