MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN

History of polo this region can be traced well before the times of the Mughals. The Aibak Polo Ground at Lahore still stands witness to the death of the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak, while playing polo in 1210.

Although polo had a passionate following in the region since the colonial times, however, after partition in 1947 when the Pakistan Polo Association was formed, the game as part of grand military tradition made its way to all parts of Pakistan. Presently, polo is played all over the country from the Arabia Sea in the South to the Himalayas in the North with the Shandur annual tournament, at the highest Polo ground in the World being a favorite tourist attraction.

The Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup (National Open Championship) is the most coveted tournament in Pakistan while the two older cups played are the Punjab Challenge in Lahore since 1886 and the Trades Polo Cup at Rawalpindi since 1900. In recent years Pakistan has seen an upsurge in Polo and the popularity of the sport has seen increased corporate sponsorship. This has encouraged a number of foreign players to regularly participate in our local teams during the 14 goal tournaments.

Increased participation has strained existing resources and though facilities have been improved at some clubs there is a need to focus on infrastructural development for the mid to long term. More grounds and even more clubs need to be developed to be able to spread the sport out to more cities.

I look forward to all of us combining our endeavors to make Polo more popular and a widely played sport in Pakistan and on providing sufficient opportunity to our younger generation of players to excel and enjoy this sport.

Lieutenant General Sadiq Ali, HI (M).

Chairman Pakistan Polo Association