As polo lovers and players alike know the defender with a good back shot is the player who gets the ball back to his teammates. On Saturday 12 March 2022 Access Bank South Africa gathered a winning team at Val de Vie Estate in the magnificent Paarl Valley for its inaugural South African edition of the Access Bank Polo Day.
With a guest list as regal as the game itself, Access Bank SA CEO Sugendhree Reddy says that feedback has been extremely positive. “With guests from Nigeria to Dubai and in between, the impact of the great game of polo and the overall event bodes well for it becoming an annual one.”
The Access Experience in the elegant Val de Vie ballroom took guests on a journey Through the Senses, with scented stations, African face painting, designer fashion and a selection of artfully crafted canapés by South African celebrity and Food Network star Chef Katlego Mlambo.
Host of Morocco’s MasterChef and owner of several restaurants in Marrakesh, Madrid and Paris, Chef Moha Fedal, prepared a lunch menu that seduced with its spices, flavours and Moroccan classics. Chef Kyle Conradie later brought out the pastries to complete the Access Bank culinary experience with its variety of influences.
“It was a red carpet welcome to the Access Bank Polo Day, and the perfect setting for our esteemed guests from the financial sector, along with clients and partners to eat, meet and reconnect with industry friends and peers followed by a game of skill and majestic horsemanship,” says Ms Reddy.
With the theme being a Touch of Africa, Access Bank Group Managing Director and CEO Herbert Wigwe began his welcome by noting the guests’ and the venue’s exceptional display of cultural creativity.
“As we work toward our vision of being the most trusted bank in Africa, we are building on old traditions with some new events,” he said. “One can’t help but note the strength and speed of the horses and the players – and both of these attributes are cornerstones of Access Bank.”
Mr Wigwe said the number of countries represented by the guests at the Access Bank Polo Day is also indicative of a rich heritage across the African continent and beyond.
Another highlight of the Polo Day was the presentation of R360 000 to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund NMCF), which has been named the beneficiary for this prestigious event in South Africa.
CEO of the NMCF Kone Gugushe said the organisation welcomes this exceptional partnership with Access Bank and looks forward to getting results on behalf of the children that the Bank “will be proud of”.
With all the formalities completed, great excitement greeted the players and their steeds as the Gold Cup match commenced, with the final match being the Memorial Cup. Team Access Bank showed their skill and fortitude, taking the cup as the crowd cheered.
Says Ms Reddy: “With delicacies from South Africa, Morocco to Ethiopia intricately enhanced by fine wines, top class entertainment and a sporting event par excellence, the inaugural South African Access Bank Polo Day was a huge success. We’ve set the bar high, both in this outstanding event and in our impact on the banking sector.”
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