2019 Cell C Inanda Africa Cup
Johannesburg – With the polo season already off to an exciting start in Johannesburg, we took the opportunity to talk to Zompie Tsotetsi; the prodigy of the 2014 Inanda Club Player Development program; ahead of the Cell C Inanda Africa Cup taking place on 16 June 2019 at the Inanda Club in Sandton.
Tsotetsi’s own introduction to polo hails from a development programme in the Free State. In between tending to his job as an assistant manager to Craig James, the Inanda Polo Academy and Polo Club Manager; his mission was to transform his basic polo skills. Zompie evolved into a talented player and proceeded to play in his first professional match in the 2014 Development Cup, obtaining the title of the Most Valued Player (MVP).
Using the sport as an activity to inspire and motivate the youth who are less privileged, in an effort to spotlight their talent, Zompie has become an emblematic example of a success story, applying his skills in coaching at the Inanda club while running a business in the Free State, making a living from what is now his career.
Tsoteti’s deep affinity and persistence in polo has led him to compete at a professional level in renowned tournaments such as the, 2017 Inanda Development Cup; the 2017 Cell C Inanda Africa Cup and the most recent, Aon Inanda International Polo Development Curtain Raiser for the Aon Red team alongside players Bafana Skhosana (-1) Joe Sello (0) and Nathi Shabalala (1). Zompie is fast becoming South Africa’s top polo player valued for his display of speed and skill on the field.
“Practice, practice and more practice! I ride every day and I look after my horses, as we are extremely dependent on each other during a game. It is important to know your horse’s strength and to ride with determination, precision and compassion,” comments Zompie advising budding young polo players.
“I am concentrating on playing the best polo I can together with the best horses. I want to achieve at least 6 goals and more. Coaching is also very important to me. The Inanda Polo Academy teaches all ages and ability levels and it assisted me in getting started. I have a passion for horses and the sport and I am grateful to be able to make this my career,” adds Zompie – Speed, agility, and nerves of steel – these are the attributes required for both player and pony for a successful tournament.
When asked about his fitness regime, Zompie states: “Of course you need to be extensively fit to play this sport, like any other. I exercise every day and training on the field and maintaining my horses also contributes to my fitness. The game of polo requires strength, balance and coordination; hitting a small ball traveling at high speeds with a heavy mallet from the back of a horse requires concentration and skill. This technique requires constant practice.”
Referring to his time spent training younger talents Zompie remarks “I am privileged to be able to provide opportunities to young and talented polo players, as I was given, through the Inanda Polo Academy”.
Craig James, the Inanda Club Polo Manager concludes “Zompie has shown incredible progression throughout the years and has served as a catalyst in changing perceptions about the sport. He is improving constantly and making headlines in the polo world. I look forward to witnessing his success and his making his mark in polo tournaments globally.”
On 16 June 2019, Zompie Tsotetsi will showcase his exceptional talent on the Inanda Club polo field playing alongside prominent polo players from across the continent at the Cell C Inanda Africa Cup.
DATE DIARY DETAILS
Event: Inanda Africa Cup 2019
Dates: Sunday, 16 June 2019
Time: 10:00 – 18:00
Venue: Inanda Club, Forrest Road & 6th Ave, Sandton