Minna Na­tional Polo 2018 gal­lops off July 15

Sunday Trust - - FEVER PITCH - Sto­ries by Ernest Ekpeny­ong

Man­age­ment of Minna Polo Club has in­di­cated its readi­ness to host the 2018 Minna Na­tional Polo Tour­na­ment which is be­ing or­gan­ised by the Nige­rian Polo Fed­er­a­tion (NPF), from July 15 – 21, 2018.

NPF scribe, Mo­hammed Kyari who con­firmed this to Polo Roy­als, stated that the week­long Minna grand polo car­ni­val would come up eight days af­ter Bauchi tour­na­ment.

The event is an an­nual so­cial and recre­ational ac­tiv­ity, which has over the years at­tracted a large turnout of play­ers, spec­ta­tors and em­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally who are long­stand­ing friends of Niger State and the no­ble game of polo.

The tour­na­ment is tra­di­tion­ally pow­ered by the Niger State gov­ern­ment and a con­sor­tium of blue chip cor­po­rate or­ga­ni­za­tions like Dan­tata & Sa­woe Con­struc­tion Com­pany, Unity Bank Plc and Her­itage Press Lim­ited. Oth­ers in­clude Dan­gote Group of In­dus­tries, Pro­file Group of Com­pa­nies, Niger State De­vel­op­ment Com­pany and host of oth­ers.

Or­gan­is­ers be­lieve what would make Minna’2018 Polo fi­esta a no miss event to all polo en­thu­si­asts across the coun­try and be­yond is its prox­im­ity to Abuja. Ac­cord­ing to Ahmed Sal­isu, the Sec­re­tary of Minna Polo Club, the week-long polo ex­trav­a­ganza re­puted to be big­gest sport­ing event in the state, would live up to its tra­di­tional warm and hos­pi­tal­ity.

Minna polo cap­tain, Jamilu King hinted Polo Roy­als that four ma­jor prizes would be at stake dur­ing the tour­na­ment. They are the Gen­eral Ibrahim Badamasi Ba­bangida (IBB) Cup which is the tour­na­ment’s most wanted prize, the Gover­nor’s Cup, Emir of Minna Cup and Gen­eral Has­san Us­man Katsina Cup.

Other sub­sidiary prizes are the Gen­eral Ab­dul­salami Abubakar Cup, Tal­ban Minna Cup, Gen­eral M. I. Wushishi Cup, Ah­madu Ba­hago Cup, Idris Ibrahim Cup and Kere Ahmed Cup.

The Gover­nor of Niger State, Dr, Abubakar Sani Bello has as­sured all par­tic­i­pat­ing play­ers and guests of a mem­o­rable and ex­cit­ing polo tour­na­ment this year. The gover­nor also dou­bles as the Pres­i­dent of the Minna Polo Club.

Polo Roy­als re­called that only two years ago, The pres­ti­gious Minna an­nual polo tour­na­ment cli­maxed with in a grand style, with de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, EL-Amin out­pac­ing all com­ers to keep their trea­sured IBB Cup ti­tle.

The Kaduna-based El-Amin were the bright­est star of the pres­ti­gious Minna event, re­tain­ing the event’s big­gest prize (the IBB Cup), the Gen­eral Ab­dul­salami Cup and cart­ing home per­sonal awards in an ac­tion-packed, un­for­get­table week that was hailed by roy­alty, busi­ness­men, diplo­mats and polo en­thu­si­asts as one of “truest sports­man­ship and polo dis­plays”.

“Com­ing down and play­ing in front of our teem­ing Minna fans has al­ways been spe­cial and we’re happy to come away with a win. We were al­ways look­ing to get­ting an ad­van­tage in open­ing game, so this win is awe­some for us; we’re happy with the re­sult.”

“It feels great to re­al­ize how much joy one’s ef­fort has pos­i­tively im­pacted on the lives of the teem­ing polo en­thu­si­asts across the coun­try and Minna in par­tic­u­lar. Their sup­port and be­lief in EL-Amin has al­ways been the driv­ing force and I want to ded­i­cate these vic­to­ries to my teem­ing fans,” EL-Amin pa­tron, Mo­ham­mad Ba­bangida, de­clared.

Third from left, Niger State Gover­nor, Abubakar Sani Bello, his Adamawa State coun­ter­part, Gover­nor Jubrilla Bindo., NPF Pres­i­dent, Fran­cis Og­boro and EL-Amin polo team play­ers pose with the IBB Cup af­ter pre­sen­ta­tion & clos­ing cer­e­mony of the Minna’2015 polo tour­na­ment.

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