Ahead of the 2019 edition of Africa’s premium polo extravaganza, Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament is set to witness eighteen highly motivated teams from across the country gearing up for the international fiesta, which gallops-off at the Fifth Chukker Lawns of Kangimi Resort in Kaduna from June 6 -25, 2019.
Revered as one of the biggest charity polo platforms in the world, the UNICEF event will be decided in two stages, with fourteen teams battling for the newly introduced Usman Dantata Cup and the events’ second most wanted prize, The Access bank Cup in the first stage.
Polo Royals exclusively reports that the second and the grand finale stage which promises to be one of the most exciting high-stake Charity shield confrontations in years, will pitch six determined new comers and former champions in a winner-takes all chase for the UNICEF Cup and tournament top prize, the Charity Shield.
Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu who confirmed the tournament dates, stated that title sponsor, and its partners, have taken their commitment to UNICEF Charity polo fund raising platform to a new level, with the construction of fully equipped sixty classroom blocks in Kaduna State.
He stated that project that would berth a new education system in Kaduna, was a contribution by the bank alongside the partners, Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Club, and well-meaning individuals to the sustenance of the charity platform that has for many years benefited communities and powering rural women in Kaduna.
Polo Royals checks also reveal that the project which is currently seventy percent complete, will on completion, admits a record 12,600 orphans and less privilege children across rural communities in the state, on a two shift system of morning and evening seasons, who would have the opportunity of studying with the best of international facilities that would be comparable to the bests in the world.
“The partners are delight that the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield is archiving its main objective of reaching out to the less privilege children in the society, and we are not relenting on this laudable intervention, because there are millions of vulnerable Nigerian children out of school and many of them are from the north.”
“This year’s tournament is more than an affirmation of our commitment to socio-economic wellbeing of mankind and acknowledgement of the impact the initiative has had on the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable children in northern Nigeria especially in Kaduna state,” he emphasized in chat with Polo Royals.
Events & Project Development Manager of Fifth Chukker, Barbara Zingg who briefed media executives in Lagos, said two day, May 29 and June 12, have been set aside to celebrate children as part of the highlights of the 2019 edition of one of the biggest charity polo event in Africa.
She confirms that food and art exhibitions have been added to the package to make the prestigious fiesta exciting and special for the participants, invited guests and polo buffs, who are expected in their droves during the tournament.
“Fifth Chukker is proud to continue in its development of this established partnership with Access Bank and UNICEF. As the level of play continues to raise the bar in Nigerian polo and captures a truly international following; the charity work follows in a similar fashion,” Barbara added.
Last year, the charity polo extravaganza galloped off in grand style with 15 teams jostling for honours in three major cups categories. At the end of ten days of open ended games, Team Rubicon 1& 2 from Abuja carted home the event’s biggest prize, the Charity Shield and the UNICEF Cup respectively.
Lukeman Adebayo led Kangimi A-Plus team secured a hard earned Access Bank Cup, gifting the teeming Lagos polo enthusiasts plenty to celebrate for. Bauchi Nadabo Farms (Access Bank Cup), Kano Agad (UNICEF Cup) and Charity Shield defending champions, Leighton Kings finished runners.
The Charity Shield began in 2003 as platform to support local charity organizations in Kaduna. Since 2006 this humanitarian effort has been geared exclusively towards UNICEF intervention projects for orphans and vulnerable children in Kaduna State.
In 2008, the Charity Shield received a major boost when Access Bank agreed to a multi-year sponsorship deal, making the tournament one of the best-supported events in the history of Nigerian sport. The event is very well attended by high ranking government dignitaries such as the Vice President, Senate Deputy President, governors, corporate chieftains and traditional emirs.
Income generated from gate takings and donations is channel to UNICEF in support to meeting the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in their care, including providing healthcare and education supplies.
The charity support provides additional training for children and caregivers aims to increase knowledge and skills around nutrition, healthcare, hygiene and psycho-social support, with additional life skills and civic education for older children.