Polo is one of the oldest team sports in the world. While the exact origin is unknown, it is said that the sport started over 2 000 years ago in Persia when nomadic warriors played the game as a training exercise for battle.
It is believed that the Calcutta Polo Club in India, founded in 1862 was the first formal polo club to be established and is credited with compiling the original rule book, which is still used in modern-day polo today. Polo is now played all over the world with over 50 countries participating in the sport. South Africa is one of the countries with a thriving polo scene and joins the likes of New Zealand, Australia, Dubai, China, Chile and Spain.
Standard Bank will pay homage to the sport and its evolution over the years at its inaugural Polo in the Park event, to be held at luxury lifestyle resort, Steyn City. With the theme “Polo through the Ages”, guests will be taken on a journey that highlights some of the iconic countries that polo became popular in – from Shanghai to Jaipur, Barcelona and Buenos Aires to the southern tip of Africa.
While the game of polo is widely played across South Africa, the Standard Bank event – to be held on 16 November – will be the first park polo event to be held on the African continent. A modern style of polo play that forms part of a new global movement, action polo is a fast-paced version of the game that provides much excitement for spectators. Polo in the Park was first made famous in London and has spread to other areas of the globe – particularly in urban centres where space is often limited.
The Standard Bank Polo in the Park event is destined to be one of Joburg’s most exciting polo events to date; combining a sensational polo line-up in a brand-new format with spectacular hospitality, riveting entertainment and a programme of luxury lifestyle experiences.
“At Standard Bank, we are in tune with our customer’s everyday desires and passion points – from music to fashion, art and sport. That’s why we have created this event, so that our customers can be exposed to and interact with the experiences they enjoy most,” says Lindy-Lou Alexander, Head, Marketing: Personal and Business Banking South Africa at Standard Bank.
As sponsors of the Joy of Jazz and Makhanda Arts festivals, Standard Bank will bring its learnings from these experiences to the upcoming event through Aspire Art displays in the VIP area where there will be a performance by young jazz sensation, Thandi Ntuli. There will also be a fashion show presented by Jacques Le Grange Couture and Taibo Bacar.