The prestigious MTN International Polo Tournament got off to a great start in Katsina last Saturday, with 32 top polo teams vying for honours.
The event that attracted a huge crowd to the Sir Usman Nagogo venue saw an impressive opening ceremony conducted by officials of the Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), and other top government and private sector dignitaries.
The tournament, which has visiting teams from other cities like Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Minna, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Yola, Zaria among others, was also accorded the royal blessing of the Emir of Katsina and Life Chairman Nigerian Polo, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the competition, the former Governor of Kaduna State and Life President Katsina Polo Club, Alhaji Lawan Kaita, after bowling the first half of the tournament, acknowledged MTN for its support of polo. He also urged all participants to always play by the rules.
He described the telecom company’s relationship with Nigerian Polo as an endearing one and assured the cheering crowd of a most memorable time in Katsina.
As one of the most glamorous polo events in Nigeria, the MTN sponsored polo fiesta lived up to its billing with two Coommasie Cup, two Talba Cup and the Opening General Hassan Cup games taking the centre stage on the first day of the event.
In the first game of the event, Katsina Samraj outpaced Katsina Evergreen Land 7-61/2 in the opening game of Coomassie Cup. Port Harcourt Strata Base overwhelmed local rivals, Port Harcourt Shabbaz 3-2 in a fiercely contested second match.
The race for the Talba Cup got underway with Yola Yelwa and Kaduna Amana clinching impressive wins to set the pace in the intermediate Cup chase. Kano Bagauda came from behind to secure a morale boosting 5-4 victory in the General Hassan Cup opener to close the day on a high note.
Major prizes at stake in the MTN international polo festival include the much-coveted Nigerian Cup, which is the biggest cup. Other are the MTN Cup, the President’s Cup, the Governor’s Cup, Nagogo Memorial Cup, Maidabino Cup, Dikko Memorial Cup and the Beginners’’ Cup among other individual awards.