ZIMBABWE National Paralympic Games scored a first yesterday when they got corporate partnership for the first time in the history of the Games.
The Games will run from tomorrow until Monday in Mashonaland Central in various venues across Bindura.
And yesterday the annual Games, through the initiative of the NPG fundraising committee, received a major boost when companies such as NMB Bank, ZimGold and PFK Chartered Accountants donated towards the hosting of the Games.
What was more special about the contributions is that it is the first time that the Games have got help from partners.
The Games solely relied on the government grant and what the local organising committee would have gathered from the hosting province.
Yesterday, the financial institution made a donation of 471 medals to be given to the athletes as well as 1 500 T-shirts.
ZimGold Cooking Oil donated 1 500 litres of cooking oil which is enough to cover the Games budget requirements.
The company also ensured that every athlete goes home with a two litres bottle of cooking oil after the Games.
Some well-wishers also contributed towards the Games by providing 150 kilogrammes of peanut butter, 100 kilogrammes of tomatoes, and toiletries for the athletes to use for the duration of the Games.
NMB chief operating officer Gerald Gore said they saw the need to partner the Paralympics for a worthy cause.
“When we were approached it was not a difficult decision for us, as a bank we believe we have an equally important mind and responsibility to the community which we do business with. “Our attraction as a bank was to put a smile on someone’s face,” said Gore.
The fundraising committee representative, Tafadzwa Mapanzure, promised the companies a return on their investment.
“We are grateful to the corporate world for having confidence in the team and responding to the clarion call. Some organisations managed to respond regardless of short notice. There are strategies in place to get a return on your investment,” said Mapanzure.
In a speech read on his behalf the Sports Commission acting director general, Joseph Muchechetere, said the Games give athletes exposure.
“Zimbabwe National Paralympic Games do not only create platforms for play but they also provide business opportunities for the different corporate organisations for them to showcase their products.
“The Games also serve as a platform through which we promote an inclusive society devoid of the one’s ability, race, creed, colour and religion or otherwise.
“The Games have also been used to select athletes for higher levels of competition in the Region and the African continent. The medals aggregation of medals for the AU Region 5 Under-20 Games since 2004 indicate that Zimbabwe’s performance has been largely anchored by this group of people,” said Muchechetere.
Participants will take part in the athletics for the visually impaired, athletics for the intellectually challenged and athletics for the amputees, football for the deaf and five-a-side for the intellectually challenged, goal ball, netball for the deaf as well as wheelchair, basketball and tennis.
Chipadze High School, Hermann Gmeiner, Mazowe Boys and Chindunduma School will host the different sporting disciplines.