The city of Johannesburg is building on its post World Cup sporting legacy by hosting one of Africa’s most prestigious polo tournaments.
The 2010 Inanda Africa Cup will be held in the Inanda Club, Sandton and promises to offer a superb blend of sport, glamour and culinary flair with an African twist.
The knock-out polo tournament will playing host to African teams from Ghana, Nigeria, ten local South African teams and the Polo Africa Development Side.
“We’re delighted to be home and host to one of the most prestigious events on the African continent’s elite sporting and social calendar,” says Lindiwe Kwele, CEO, Johannesburg Tourism Company CEO.
“Aside from the excitement and draw of the polo, this is also a glamorous day for fashion, sophisticated culinary style and taste, positioning Joburg as a leading international lifestyle destination, boasting its own unique brand of Afro-fusion chic! We look forward to growing this polo tournament into one of Joburg’s signature events.”
Polo has been played in South Africa for over a century. Due to the number of highly trained horses needed to play the game, it has traditionally been a sport for the well-heeled – even now there are only about 320 registered club players in the country.
However, the SA Polo Association has taken steps to extend the reach of the game, running regular junior coaching clinics, with bursaries on offer for development players.
And “polo tourism” is beginning to make its mark in South Africa. The country offers a number of exciting venues – and stunning value-add packages – for lovers of the game who are keen to travel.
The first open day is Sunday 1 August. At half time “the stomping of the divots”’ by hundreds of spectators, will be interrupted by the “Race of Horsepower” where nothing compares with the race between the mighty thoroughbred and the beautiful Aston Martin.
Visitors can expect to spend this exclusive day in the company of the cream of Gauteng’s social and executive circuit – setting the mood for an after-party filled with a glamorous continental ambience, celebrations and festivities!
Polo in Africa
Nigeria is celebrating 100 highly successful years in polo, marked by solid development and the number of teams that are participating in the centenary tournament. Captain of the Lagos Polo Club, Mr. Francis Ogboru, says that over the years the standard of the game had improved tremendously; while the former captain of Lagos Polo Club says that game is erroneously referred to as a game for the rich, as membership of the club cuts across all strata of society.
Also a growing sport in Ghana, most Ghanaian Polo players participate in the UK Polo Season, returning home for the Ghana Polo Season from September to March, to enjoy Polo under the African Sun.
Development Polo has made huge strides in Africa over the past five years, with a number of exciting and progressive initiatives, which are developing significant talent. and launching new local heroes in the Polo world. Through the success of these individuals, the rise of young talent from our disadvantaged communities is significantly shifting the attitudes to Polo, which bodes well for the continued growth of this incredible sport in the future.