June 12, 2009

Babangida gives back to Nigerian Polo

One of Africa’s    biggest polo    patrons, Alhaji Muhammad Babangida has reconfirmed his passion for the game of kings, with a donation of a secretariat to the Nigerian Polo Association (NPA).

•ALL FOR POLO: Two teams battle it out during a polo tournament in Lagos.

•ALL FOR POLO: Two teams battle it out during a polo tournament in Lagos.

Babangida who is the proud patron of the Kaduna EL-Amin, one of Africa’s most successful polo organizations, made good his pledge to provide a befitting secretariat for the games’ ruling authority recently, through the Kaduna Polo Club.

The secretariat which is sited in Kaduna is under construction in Kaduna, is named after the Chairman of the Nigerian Polo Association and one of Nigeria’s most astute polo administrator, the late Senator Idris Kuta who passed on last year.

“The decision to make this donation is borne of our deep desire to contribute meaningfully to the popularity and the growth of the noble game that has brought so much glory to the country over the years,” Mohammed declared.
He explained that the gesture became necessary; to support NPA in its drive to reposition the noble of polo that recently celebrated its centenary in 2004, as one of the most popular sports in the country. The Kaduna based polo buff who has been in charge as the Kaduna Polo Tournament Manager and Chairman Minna Polo Club for years, described as worrisome the fact that NPA that was form in the 1920s has been operating without a functional secretariat.

“This is the game we love with so much passion and in our desire to give back the a game that has over the year brought so much joy to million of Nigerians, we decided to make this token contribution,”

NPA Secretary General, Mohammed Kyari and the Life President of the Kaduna Polo Club, Alhaji Hassan Hadejia described the gesture as unprecedented as urged other well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to emulate Babangida and secure the future of the game of polo in Nigeria.

The donation came on the heels of the recently lunched EL-Amin Polo Foundation, which is instituted by the son of the former military president to help the less privileged children in the society.

It was reliably gathered that the foundation would specifically support the educational need of those that meet the criteria and also encourage them in their respective sporting pursuits.

Expectedly, the sporting activities covered by the foundation include popular games like the king of games; like Polo, Football and Basketball that have over the years, been the favourites of Nigerian youths.

EL-Amin polo organization that has grown to becoming one of Africa’s most successful and the most consistent team is the reigning champion of all the major polo grand slams in the country and proud winners of all the high-goal polo titles in the country.

Currently, Mohammed Babangida who have boost the biggest supporters based in  Africa, are the defending champions of prestigious polo laurels like the Georgian Cup, the Majekodunmi Cup, The Emir of Katsina Cup and the IBB Cup, most of which have been won more than thrice.

Only last February, Babangida and his boys made Nigeria and the continent proud in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in one of their international campaigns that has remain one of the high points of Africa polo.

The prestigious Dubai’2009 Polo Cup that pitted the Nigerian champions against their Dubai counterparts, Al Habtoor team was hosted by foremost Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, one the pillars behind the popularity of the noble game of polo in the Arabian kingdom.