Under a blistering Singaporean sun and in front of a crowd of over 300 guests, Prince Harry 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 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.
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.
“Through youth-led campaigning, training and advocacy, the initiative allows young people affected by HIV/AIDS to be heard," said Prince Harry.
"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.”