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Eighteen highly rated polo teams from across the country are gearing up for Africa’s premium polo extravaganza as the annual Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament gallops-off at the Fifth Chukker Lawns of Kangimi Resort in Kaduna from Monday June 6 to Sunday to June 15, 2019.
Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, disclosed this in Lagos at a press briefing heralding the 2019 edition of the international tournament.
Teams comprising regulars, arch rivals and a handful of ambitious new comers would jostle for honours in three broad cup categories with the high stake Charity Shield leading the pack that include the glittering Access Bank Cup, newly introduced Usman Dantata Cup, and crowded UNICEF Cup respectively.
The first stage of the annual tournament will pitch 14 teams jostling for the UNICEF and the Usman Dantata Cup respectively, while the second stage promises to be a thrilling experience as six fully armed teams loaded with foreign professionals do battle for Access Bank Cup and the event’s biggest prize, Charity Shield.
Etuokwu said the bank will continue to maintain its yearly commitment in supporting UNICEF towards its projects for orphans and vulnerable children.
He pointed out that Access Bank and Fifth Chukker had over the years been supporting UNICEF and empowering people in Maraban Jos community and its environs in Kaduna in a pivotal commitment that has continually been lauded by the public.
”The partners are delighted that the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield is archiving its main objective of reaching out to the less privileged children in the society.”
“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.
Also, Access Bank Plc, and its partners, has 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.
Etuokwu 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.
Etuokwu also noted 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.
Events & Project Development Manager of Fifth Chukker, Barbara Zing, stated that two days, 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 confirmed 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.