THE sun shone down over visitors to the first day of Asahi British Beach Polo Championships in Sandbanks yesterday.

Now in its sixth year on the beach at Sandbanks, the beach polo aims to bring together a host of sport and music, with teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales competing for the Championship title.

In addition, there is Oakley Professional Beach Volleyball, a 4x4 Polo Pony Charity Race, retail village and Beach Polo After Party.

Johnny Wheeler, organiser of the event, said the championship shows off Sandbanks at its very best.

He said: “People have come from all over to enjoy the sun, sand and polo at the championships.

He added: “We predict that around 2,000 ticket holders will attend each day, with a further estimated 2,000 people both yesterday and today on the outside section of the beach.

“New for this year, we have our chosen charity for the event, which is Variety, the Children’s Charity, and we also had local event company, Cocoloco, organise the after-party last night.

“I think people come back each year because the event is quirky, different and unique, and is only held once per year, but still there is nothing like this anywhere else in the world.

“This event brings people to the area, both internationally and from all over the globe.”

Celebrities set to visit the two-day event include Nichola Roberts from Girls Aloud, Jules Knight, an actor starring in Holby City and member of the band Blake, and comedian and impressionist Debra Stephenson.