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Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament Gallops off in Kaduna

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THE 2017 edition of the Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament is scheduled to hold at Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Resort, Kaduna, from May 15 to May 21, 2017.

The biggest charity polo event in Africa will this year, feature 15 teams vying for honours in two major categories, organizers of the event said in a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday.

UNICEF Charity Shield tourney, which is in its tenth year of Access Bank sponsorship, is a reaffirmation of the importance of the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable children in northern Nigeria.

Group Head, Inclusive Banking,  Access Bank Plc, Ope  Wemi-Jones, said the Bank had maintained its yearly commitment in supporting UNICEF towards its projects for orphans and vulnerable children.

“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 vulnerable children in northern Nigeria especially in Kaduna state. It is also an opportunity for providing special care for Access Bank’s customers through our Inclusive Banking services.”

Babangida Hassan, Fifth Chukker Polo Captain, said they are proud to continue in its development of this established partnership with Access Bank and UNICEF.

“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,” Babangida added.

“We are hoping to get more children needing support for instance, children orphaned by HIV/AIDS – especially the girl child into schools” says the UNICEF Chief of Field-Partnership boss, Manuel Rosini in Nigeria.

He also disclosed through the Access bank and Fifth Chukker partnership, the school project at Maraban Jos in Kaduna has witnessed a 35 percent increase in enrolment from a little over 8000 last year, to 11,000 this year.

“We have no doubt created the space for a lot of them to enjoy their rights to education through this partnership, but we aim to seek more community participation to achieve greater results.” he stated.”

Rosini pointed out that “UNICEF looks forward to expanding this partnership with Access Bank to advocate the realisation of children’s rights.”

UNICEF also disclosed that “There are millions of Nigerian children out of school and many of them are from the north. “I do believe the power of education will transform the society.” declares Rosini.

Four high-goals teams fortified with the best Nigerian players and professionals from Argentina, England and South Africa are listed for action in the big stake Charity Shield that pitch four equally match teams from Lagos, Abuja, Keffi and kaduna.

Campaigns for the prestigious Access Bank Cup would be an exciting experience with twelve regulars and ambitious debutants bracing for fierce games in a potentially explosive week long confrontations. A special event to mark the Centenary of Kaduna City and Children’s Day celebration would form part of the major highlights of the 2017 edition of the tournament

The Access Bank Charity Shield was inaugurated by Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club in 2003 as a fund raising platform to support local charity organisations.  Since 2006, however, this effort has been exclusively geared towards UNICEF’s intervention projects for orphans and vulnerable children and its environs.

So far, more than N100 million has been raised during the charity event, for underprivileged children in northern Nigeria and this has been hailed as a huge achievement for a sporting partnership that began a decade ago.


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