By Lawrence Trusida
THE Zimbabwe senior rugby team, the Sables have received a major boost after financial institution; Nedbank pledged US$200 000 for their World Cup campaign.
The Sables will participate in the Africa Cup set for France in July which will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup.
However, before that, the team will take part in the Currie Cup competition in South Africa as part of preparations for the qualifiers.
With all these tournaments requiring financial support, Sables principal sponsors Nedbank have increased their sponsorship to the team by eighty thousand United States dollars US$80 000.
“We are happy to support the team because it reflects on Zimbabwe. You have players coming from Mbare, Borrowdale, Nkulumane etc., then also the way they handled the initial sponsorship last year gave us confidence to commit more this time around,” said Heresy Herry – Nedbank Executive Head Sales & Origination.
Government has also committed financial support to the cause.
Government is going to support you all the way materially and financially but we can but you can bank on our support, noted Dr Benson Dube- Chief Director Ministry of Youth.
The event, which was held at a local restaurant in Harare on Tuesday night, also brought together Zimbabweans from all walks of life including socialites, business gurus and athletes from different sport codes.
Sables legend, Mike Martin, who played at the 1987 and 1991 World Cups believes qualification will transform Zimbabwean rugby for the better.
“When we qualified in 1987, it was just another sport but after the World Cup the enthusiasm grew more and our lives changed. The sport was loved by all and it started changing from being an elite sport and now this is probably number three sport in Zimbabwe and if we qualify we can move to number two,” he said.
Jerseys worn by friends of the Sables including Zimbabwean born and former Australian captain, David Pockock, Springboks legend Tendai Mtawarira and others, were also auctioned to raise more funds for the campaign.
The team is set to camp in Cape Town for 10 weeks, starting in the first week of March till the end of the Currie Cup.