Under a blistering Singaporean sun and in front of a crowd of over 300 guests, Prince Harry today took to the field for the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup to raise funds for his charity, Sentebale. The event took place at the Singapore Polo Club and brought together distinguished guests who showed their support for the charity’s work helping youth affected by the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa.
Prior to the game commencing, guests gathered for national anthems and a minute’s silence in remembrance of those affected by the London attacks on Saturday evening.
Later an exciting match ensued; cheered on by the crowds, Sentebale ISPS Handa team clinched victory over St Regis team for the second year running by a lead of three points. The winning ball was struck by Prince Harry in the final chukka of the closely fought game, giving Sentebale ISPS Handa team the resulting advantage. The match also featured valiant performances from Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador Malcolm Borwick and Sentebale and St. Regis Ambassador Nacho Figueras.
Sentebale’s flagship fundraising event has been running for eight years taking place in different locations around the world. 2017 sees the first time the prestigious event has hit the shores of South East Asia, and Singapore Polo Club has had extended history of Royal Patronage, with Edward VIII, The Duke of Edinburgh and the present Prince of Wales all playing there. This year is the seventh consecutive year of the partnership between Sentebale and British luxury whisky Royal Salute. To date the event has raised over £4.5million for Sentebale’s work providing care, education and critical psychosocial support to children and adolescents coming to terms with living with HIV in Lesotho and Botswana, two countries with the world’s second and third highest infection rates and where the burden of the HIV epidemic remains.
At last year’s Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, hosted in Palm Beach, Florida, Prince Harry announced the charity’s plans to expand its programme of psychosocial support to young people living with HIV into Botswana. Since then, Sentebale has supported over 2,800 children and adolescents living with HIV across Lesotho and Botswana through monthly Saturday clubs and camps.
This year, speaking at the post-tournament dinner at the St Regis Singapore, Prince Harry spoke about Sentebale’s newly developed Let Youth Lead programme aimed at encouraging all youth in sub-Saharan Africa to know and manage their HIV status by 2020, which Prince Seeiso launched at the charity’s first youth summit in Lesotho in April this year.
Prince Harry added; “Through youth-led campaigning, training and advocacy, the initiative allows young people affected by HIV/AIDS to be heard. We hope this will create a platform where the needs of young people in the region are listened to – from the need for adolescent-friendly health services, more trained counselors in rural areas and better sexual reproductive health education in schools. Young people know what works for them and their friends, so we must listen and take note.”
Peter Moore, Global Brand Director of Royal Salute, added „It is incredibly inspiring to see what a huge impact the charity Sentebale has made on vulnerable young people in Southern Africa affected by HIV and AIDS. After seven years as title partners for the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, we are proud to say our donations of more than £1.5 million have helped to support the important work that Sentebale delivers to young people in Southern Africa.”
Cathy Ferrier, CEO of Sentebale said “We are so grateful to all our generous sponsors who continue to help youth affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa. Adolescent deaths and new infections continue to rise amongst this age group in the region, so it is vital that we can continue to deliver much-needed care, education and critical psychosocial support, encouraging them to know and safely manage their HIV status.
“We have ambitious plans to be operating in five countries in the African region by 2020 and the funds raised through our annual flagship event remain key to us achieving these goals. Thank you to our long-standing partner Royal Salute, to the Singapore Polo Club for hosting us today, and to all of our dedicated sponsors, ISPS Handa, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, BMW and British Airways who have each contributed to making the day a great success.”
Malcolm Borwick, Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador and Captain of the Sentebale ISPS Handa team commented: “It has been a great honour to play at the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup this year alongside Prince Harry and other distinguished players. I have been around the globe with the Royal Salute World Polo series and this tournament remains the most inspirational event I take part in due to the overwhelming generosity of the crowd and sponsors. Over time, it has been a privilege to see Sentebale grow in part due to the charitable efforts of both Royal Salute and the sport.”
To raise further funds for the charity, bids opened for a one-of-a-kind Royal Salute auction lot. The Master Blender’s flagon of new limited edition Royal Salute 21 Year Old Polo Edition whisky has been donated to the auction by Royal Salute’s Director of Blending Sandy Hyslop, and is being housed in a bespoke hand-illustrated wrap. Created by British artist Natalie Reid, the exquisite artwork wrap depicts some of the milestones achieved by Sentebale during the seven-year partnership with Royal Salute. The auction continues online with a reserve price of £7,000 until Wednesday 14th June to allow those not in attendance the chance to support the charity and own a whisky unlike any other in the world.