Prince Harry to compete in charity polo tournament in touching tribute to mum Diana
The Duke of Sussex will play on the Sentebale Team, a charity he co-founded to honour Princess Diana's work on HIV
The Duke of Sussex is due to saddle up for an annual polo tournament in Aspen, Colorado, to raise funds and awareness for his charity Sentebale.
Harry will play on the Sentebale Team, joined by his longtime friend and the charity’s ambassador: Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras.
They are due to battle it out against the Royal Salute and the US Polo Assn teams in a round robin tournament.
The Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup is held yearly at the Aspen Valley Polo Club, and serves as the single-largest fundraising event for the charity to advance its mission on behalf of young people across Lesotho and Botswana.
It is unclear whether the Duchess of Sussex will be attending the tournament to cheer on her husband.
Sentable was set up in 2006 by Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho.
The charity works with children and young people in southern Africa whose lives have been affected by extreme poverty, inequality, HIV/AIDS and, more recently, Covid-19.
Ahead of the event, Harry said: “We are delighted to return once again to the stunning grounds of Aspen Valley Polo Club for the annual Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup.
“Sixteen years ago, Prince Seeiso and I founded Sentebale in honour of our mothers’ work in HIV, and named after my mum’s favourite flower, the ‘forget-me-not’ in Sesotho, representing our commitment to always remembering and advocating for those in need.
“We are all proud of the support we are able to give the young people of Lesotho and Botswana to feel empowered, healthy, resilient, and able to thrive.
“The funds raised this year will be invested in these communities at a critical time, as inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“We are enormously grateful to our partners and supporters here today, especially our long-standing title sponsor, ISPS Handa, for making the day possible.”
Dr Haruhisa Handa, founder of international sports promotion society, ISPS Handa, said the work done by Harry and Prince Seeiso had “changed the landscape for the care of those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Lesotho and beyond”.
Sentebale’s 2021 Annual Report, published this year, highlighted the socio-economic impact Covid-19 has had on individuals, organisations and communities across Lesotho and Botswana.
The two African countries have the second and fourth-highest prevalence rates of HIV in the world respectively, and the report highlighted how many of the challenges children and young people face have been exacerbated by the pandemic.