Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad will be leading the all-Emirati women’s team in an exhibition polo match today. Image Credit: Courtesy: Organiser

Abu Dhabi: An exciting new chapter in the history of the UAE sport will be written at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club on Friday when Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum leads out the first ever all-Emirati women’s polo team in a high profile exhibition match against, yes, an Emirati men’s team.

Representing Ghantoot A, Shaikha Maitha’s ground-breaking activities also have the potential to open doors for other Emirati girls, close the gender gap and change the country’s sporting landscape forever.

The eagerly anticipated match is the highlight of Pink Polo Day, which heralds the start of the new season at Ghantoot, the UAE’s only Royal Polo Club which was founded by Shaikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 1994.

The all-girl team also features Shaikha Alyaa Marwan Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum, Shaikha Mozah Marwan Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum and Maryam Ahmad Hassani.

There opponents are the Ghantoot Goes Pink team of Abdullah Bin Dasmal, Yousif Bin Dasmal, Faris Al Yabhouni and Ali Al Merri.

Looking ahead to the match Shaikha Maitha told Gulf News: “This year’s Pink Polo is a first for UAE women’s polo since we’ll be playing with an all-UAE ladies team against an all-UAE men’s team.

“I would like to thank Shaikh Falah for making this possible and for his constant support towards the sport and its players.

“I always enjoy playing at Ghantoot, it holds a special place (for me) and some memorable moments for me and my team,” Shaikha Maitha added.

Al Yabhouni, a hard-working polo player who is extremely passionate about the game, said the exhibition match represented a good opportunity for players share off the rust and get into the groove for the season ahead.

“It’s never easy playing in early season matches,” he said. “Because you tend to be a bit rusty. So it’s always nice to play an exhibition match.

“It’s a privilege to play against an all-girl Emirati team and although it’s essentially an exhibition match I know that they will be very competitive on the field.

“These are exciting times and we look forward to having a great season especially at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, where it is always a special occasion to support initiatives like Pink Polo.”

Abu Dhabi Sports Council is the governing partner of Pink Polo day which is held in association with the Health Authority and General Authority For Sports. Maserati Premier Motors are renewing their partnership with Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club for the third year in a row.

At A Glance

• What: Pink Polo Day

• Where: Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club (Abu Dhabi Dubai Highway Exit 399)

• When: Friday, November 2 (Gates open at 01:00 PM)

• What: A charity initiative to raise awareness on breast cancer in the UAE

• Polo Game — 5:00 PM

• Website: www.pinkpolo.ae

Team

Ghantoot A — Beverly Hills Polo Club

1) Shaikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

2) Shaikha Alyaa Marwan Mohammed Hasher Al Maktoum

3) Shaikha Mozah Marwan Mohammed Hasher Al Maktoum

4) Maryam Ahmad Hassani

Ghantoot B — Goes Pink

1) Abdullah Bin Dasmal

2) Yousif Bin Dasmal

3) Faris Al Yabhouni

4) Ali Al Merri