POLO EXTRAORDINAIRE AMEER JUMABHOY ON PHILANTHROPY

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It was in 2002 when international polo player, Ameer Jumabhoy, had his first encounter with La Martina, renowned Argentine polo fashion label and that had the wheels of fate turning towards a spiral of success.

That year, Jumabhoy had paid a visit to Argentina with his father, who brought him to a discreet polo store in Arribenos. Walking through its metal door, he was greeted with an amazing lacquered-wood shop inspired by a Victorian library, which housed the latest La Martina fashion collection.

While looking through the racks, he found a Singapore #4 polo shirt, which was a replica of his father’s 2001 World Cup Zone D Qualifiers game uniform and that sparked his initial love for the brand. Since that day, he had worn the brand to almost every game that he’s played in. In 2013, the CEO of La Martina, Adrian Simonetti gave him a call to discuss opportunities he had installed for Jumabhoy.

Jumabhoy says, “He called me out of the blue and spoke to me about the La Martina’s philosophy and invited me to join the company as their brand ambassador. I accepted without hesitation!”

Like many other successful sportsmen, Jumabhoy’s world had revolved around the game since he was young as he was born into a family of exceptional polo players.

Jumabhoy says, “I think the funny thing about being born into a polo family is that when you are 5 years old, you are already put into riding lessons. However, there has never been any pressure to play and my parents have always been supportive of our other interests.”

Maybe it was something that came naturally to him because even with the liberty of dabbling into different fields, he still ended up back into the polo fields.

For some professional sportsmen, going for a tertiary education was never something  that crossed their minds. Most would rather spend more time into their respective sports than studying, but for this man of the hour, he decided to tread down the road less taken. While actively participating in the sport, Jumabhoy also took up a double degree in political science and managerial studies at Rice University, Texas.

This is just the sort of man that he is – one who always strives to achieve more. When he was a senior in university, Jumabhoy found a new calling in philanthropy where he initiated the Golden Goals foundation to support various social causes and one of the main causes was cancer.

Jumabhoy says, “Golden Goals started as a response to a few people who were close to me getting afflicted by cancer. I wanted to contribute to the fight against cancer on my own terms and I realised that I could do it through my sport.”

For his first charity effort, he started a program where sponsors would give USD 10 (RM 30) for every goal he scored in the games and all the proceeds were donated to paediatric cancer charities in Houston. In the same year, the polo maestro also organised two charity cups in Malaysia with Tengku Amir of Pahang, where he collectively raised RM 80,000 for the Breast Cancer Welfare Association of Malaysia and Tengku Azizah Fetility Foundation.