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What made Abraka Easter tourney special –Abdulrasheed

Polo star Abdulrasheed Othman featured at the recent Abraka Easter tourney in Delta State, Fever Pitch caught up with the Kano born player for his…

Polo star Abdulrasheed Othman featured at the recent Abraka Easter tourney in Delta State, Fever Pitch caught up with the Kano born player for his views on the event and developments within the sport.

May we get to know you and your polo team?
My Name is Othman Abdulrasheed, I am a 0 handicap polo player.
I play majorly for two teams; Titans II under the patron ship of Alh Taju Dantata and Valda under the patron ship of Abdallah Bappai
 What motivated you to go into polo?
Well going into Polo was a no brainer for me, from the time I was a kid I had always loved horses despite getting into trouble a couple of times as a result, but my love primarily for the horses and for the game as well never waned, and it was only a matter of time before I took the decision to saddle up, I have not looked back ever since.
What are your biggest achievements as a polo player?
Polo players tend to be very competitive, so its only natural for my biggest achievements to be the number of trophies I have garnered. 2015 was a really interesting year for Team Valda as we won all the tournaments we participated in;
Ade Alakija Cup Winners
– Ibadan Polo Tournament
– MRS Cup Winners
– Kano Polo Tournament and the Low Goal Cup Winners
– Abuja Polo Tournament
I can’t state my achievements without recognizing my teammates; Abdallah Bappai, Sanusi Bashir Dantata, Khalifa Ibrahim Maitashi, and also Engr Sani Umar.
Tell us about the recent Easter tournament you participated in?
The Easter polo tournament was held at the Abraka Turf and Country Club, hosted by the patron Prince Albert Esiri, the games started penultimate Friday and ended with the finals on Sunday.
We had players from different parts of Nigeria; Abuja, Lagos, Kano and we also had players from Egypt as well.
The matches were highly competitive with Nigeria’s highest handicapped player Bello Buba displaying his skills and horsemanship.
The Abraka Turf and Country Club is a must visit for those who not only love Polo but also love nature as the Turf boasts of a Forest Reserve, the River Ethiope, a Golf course, an amazing club house and so many other attractions.
What’s your opinion on polo in Nigeria and what areas should be improved?
Polo in Nigeria has immense potential that is still currently being discovered, we have what it takes to rival countries like South Africa or even India in polo as we have dedicated players, and the natural resources.
The major challenge we need to overcome is disunity; we need to see past factions and foster growth through collaboration. That which unites us (the love for the game) is greater than that which separates us.
Who’s your role model in the sport?
Well I would have to say Adolfo Cambiaso, and not because he is the world’s number one polo player, his polo organization is top notch, from breeding some of the best polo ponies, to collaborating with other polo organizations like Dubai Polo Team led by Rashid Al Bwardy and Valiente led by Bob Jornayvaz, Adolfo knows what it takes to win.
The International Polo federation is fighting for the sport to make a return to the Olympics games in the nearest future, what do you think of that?
That is a huge stride for the game and would go a long way in making polo more accessible and acceptable, it would also expose our home based players to competing with some of the best from around the world thus giving an enabling environment for growth.
 

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