Tusker Malt’s Owambo Revels In Flawless Debut At Soldier’s Salute Polo Tournament

Tusker Malt’s Alice Owambo believes her perfect debut at this weekend’s Soldier’s Salute Cup at Nairobi Polo Club was well worth the many months she has spent in training.

Owambo admitted her training to become a polo player was not without its bottlenecks but nonetheless said she had enjoyed herself in her first competitive action.

“It’s been quite an exciting journey first of all…having started in August of last year…when I first picked up the mallet. It was really about persevering through the journey and making it here to compete in the first tournament. It was so exciting…so full of support from the other players,” she said.

Owambo added: “It was challenging as well because as you know it is a high speed game and as a beginner, it was quite fast for me. I had a lot of adapting to do on my speed, defence, technique and all that. I think eventually I gave it my best shot.”

Owambo couldn’t have for a better debut as her Tusker Malt team – the others including Mbu Ngugi, Karim Abbany, Alex Moss and Silke Hampson/Jamie Hayward – beat Tanqueray 6-4 in a pulsating final to clinch the eighth edition of the annual tournament.

Reflecting on the match, Owambo said she had grown in confidence with every match and was increasingly optimistic they would walk home with the win.

“I was definitely jittery but the good thing the horses I used are the ones I have been training with for quite some time. That means I was confident in my own horses. However, I was cautious about the other horses because these are fast riders so I was nervous about being able to match their speed and defend myself on a ride-off because they are probably much stronger,” Owambo said.

She added: “I think we played well on Saturday and we were very confident going into the final. I knew it could either come to draw or we would probably win the cup. It was a tight race today, it could have gone either way.”

Owambo is now looking forward to next weekend’s Chairman’s Cup, slated for the same venue, which will be a season ender for 2023/24.

In a case of ‘saving the best for last,’ Owambo is optimistic it will be one for the history books – both on and off the pitch.

“Having seen what we have seen today, people are heated up now. Having waited for two weeks in January due to the rains, people are now anxious to keep going forward so I expect lots of energy and much more spectators based on the hype today,” she said.

Tusker Malt has been a permanent presence in Kenyan polo, partnering with Nairobi Polo Club to bring exhilarating events that amalgamate sports and fashion.

Owambo, also the head of key accounts for Diageo luxury portfolio at Kenya Breweries Limited, promised fans to expect more of the same A-class experience at next weekend’s event.

“They should expect Tusker Malt to deliver on the celebration and the drinks experience at the Flavour Town. I expect that we are going to have consumers walking in to the Flavour Town and experiencing the finest beers. It is very hot right now and beer tastes good right now and Tusker Malt offers some of the finest tasting beers and even the cocktails they are making down there as well as the vibes. It’s just a wonderful experience,” she said.

In the other tie of the day, SBM Bank beat Capital FM 3-1 to clinch third place.

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