The Barbados Polo Club (BPC) will officially kick off their 2016 international polo season with the staging of the highly popular Diamonds International Battle of the Sexes four-day tournament this Sunday at the Holders, St James grounds at 3.15 p.m.
This much anticipated tournament will see a mixture of professional female English players and some local emerging amateurs teaming up to take on the mighty men’s team in a four-match battle for the top prize. The men’s team will be sponsored by Diamonds while the ladies will be sponsored by Virgin Atlantic.
Sponsorship and marketing manager for the BPC Ina Nokaj said that all systems were in place for Sunday’s start.
“We are expecting a very competitive tournament this year. The men usually get the better of the ladies but with the return of the top players such as the Sarah Wiseman, Hazel Jackson, Claire Brougham who will team up with Linda Williams, Christansia Evelyn, Ashleigh Deane and Vicky Gonzalez of Barbados, the men can expect some fierce competition this time around,” she said.
The tournament will climax on February 7 at the same venue where all four matches will be contested. Prior to that there will be matches on February 2 and 4 at Apes Hill, St James.
In last year’s final the Diamonds men’s team defeated the Virgin Atlantic ladies 5 – 3 to clinch the coveted trophy but the ladies will no doubt be out for revenge. The Battle of the Sexes will be the first of the four International tournaments this year which aåre being held by the BPC.
Following closely on the heels of that tournament will be the UNNA/ICBL-sponsored Cheshire Tour which is arguably the biggest annual tournament of the season. The Cheshire team usually have tremendous support from scores of their supporters who fly all the way from the United Kingdom to attend the Sandy Lane Gold Cup followed by the grand polo finale at Holders the following day.
Next on the calendar will be the popular Barbados Open which will be contested in a knockout format. The international season will climax with the staging of the Realtors-sponsored Canadian Open.
Nokaj noted that quality was the watchword this season.
“This year the BPC is focusing on hosting quality sporting events with an effort to develop the sport of polo and raise awareness for the sport. We will be collaborating with our partners and sponsors to develop interactive activities to highlight their products and services while at the same time enhancing the polo experience for the spectators. Our focus is to develop polo as a viable tourism product,” she said. (PR)