Inanda Development Cup brought to you by Aon.
A 3-day tournament of inspiring polo, set within the business hub of Sandton at the Inanda Club, commenced on Friday 26 July with the cup final played on Sunday 28 July. This year’s tournament included 10 teams, with entry conditions to include at least one development player in a side, combined with novices, club members and professional players from across South Africa.
“Aon is involved in a number of different initiatives and our support in one of the most thrilling sporting codes, polo, shows the diversity of our commitments. Aon’s contribution is to lend support and provide learning opportunities to the future leaders of tomorrow and the Inanda Development Cup is the perfect mirror of our core values,” says Leo Morwe, Aon Chief Human Resources Officer.
Spectators were treated to the 4-Goal Aon Development Cup, played as a 4-team round robin and the 0-Goal Aon Development Cup, a 6-team knock-out game which was played fiercely with the teams going head-to-head in their quest to win the Development Cup Title and Trophy.
The teams playing in the 0-Goal Aon Development Cup were; Blue Label, Familia, Gin Trap, Inanda, Inanda Rovers and Key Containers.
The teams playing in the 4-Goal Aon Development Cup were Aon, Familia 4, Nedbank and Renegades.
Team Blue Label were the victors of the 0-Goal Cup final, with young aspirant player, Kwanele Kula (Sanele) (0) amongst team mates Renate Klass (-2), Zac Levy (-1) and Craig James (3). Team Key Containers, who finished in second place, included the skillful young player Nathi Chabala (2) who received the 2018 Most Valued Player (MVP) Award was joined by team mates Stephanie Lowe (-2), Ian Lowe (-1) and Duncan Lowe (1). Ritali Cronje (-1) playing in Team Inanda, scooped in this category the Most Valued Player (MVP) Award and the Best Pony Award went to Stitches, owned by Murray Butcher.
Team Familia 4 played brilliantly throughout the tournament and were awarded the championship title of the 4-Goal Aon Development Cup. The team comprised of young budding star Thomas Ayipa (1), Juaan Ferreira (-1), Joe Spilsbury (0) and seasoned player Terence Spilsbury (3). The runners-up of this Cup and the stars of the day were the Aon Development Team, who played a fierce match finale against Team Nedbank, with a final score of 7-3. The Aon Development Team included players Joe Sello (-1), Thokozane Zondo (1), Donono Lithula (2) and Zompie Tsotetsi (2).
The most Valued Player (MVP) of the 4-Goal Cup was awarded to Motlatsi Tsakatsi (Lala) (-1) playing for Team Nedbank, who showcased emerging talent, and surpassed well above expectations.
The Best Pony was awarded to Tango, owned by Harold Darko and ridden by Zompie Tsotetsi in the last triumphant Chukka of the day.
Charlie Dewar (-1) playing for Team Inanda scored the most thrilling goal of the Cup, with the momentum of speed hurling him from his horse across the back line, his pony following closely behind still managing to score the goal.
“The Inanda Club together with Aon have a primary focus for the Inanda Development Cup, which is to technically build and grow the talent of young development players, who potentially will play in a professional environment. Essentially, the tournament is a platform to showcase their abilities in the sport. Crucial in this initiative, we will continue to provide ample opportunities for the talented and aspiring development players” Craig James, Inanda Club Polo Manager
12 top rising stars who played in this sensational cup and to look out for in future polo seasons, are Bafana Skosana (-1), Donono Lithula (2), Joe Sello (-1), Kwanele Kula (Sanele) (0), Michael Mokwena (-1), Motlatsi Tsakatsi (Lala) (-1), Nathi Chabala (2), Thokozane Zondo (1), Thulani Phungula (-1), Thomas Ayipa (1), Zolani Mjoli (Makeke) (-1), Zompie Tsotetsi (2).