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Zimbabwe’s national fifteens rugby team, the Sables have received a major shot in the arm ahead of their Rugby Africa Cup campaign in July after Nedbank Zimbabwe unveiled a one-year sponsorship package worth US$120 000 for the team.
The package will ensure the Sables squad, which is currently in camp ahead of upcoming friendlies against Zambia, Namibia and the Blue Bulls Select, receives the best preparations ahead of the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup.
The funding is also expected to cover the team’s welfare and day-to-day administration expenses, as well as their various games, including Test matches against international teams in the lead-up to the World Cup qualifying tournament in 2022.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Nedbank Zimbabwe executive head of sales and origination, Heresy Herry, said, “As we embark on our journey to qualify for the World Cup, we want to be front and centre in terms of making that possible.
“One of the ways that we want to see a payback is firstly seeing what the guys put in in-between the try lines, we are also going to be watching that keenly.
“Secondly, in terms of the qualifiers, it is our aspiration that you’re going to go full throttle and meet your objectives. Ultimately, we also aspire to see rugby growing… we need to see more in the formerly marginalised communities… Nedbank will be rallying behind the Sables, and we look forward to playing our part to take rugby to the communities through various clinics with the ultimate goal of raising up more talent in schools, and clubs, to represent our beloved country on the global stage.”
The sponsorship will result in Nedbank’s name being carried in front of the Sables’ jersey.
Former Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) chief executive Coleen de Jong, who chairs the Sables Trust welcomed the coming on board of Nedbank to support the team in its bid to qualify for the World Cup.
“It is a great honour to announce our partnership agreement with Nedbank, who will become the official banking partner of the Sables Trust.
“We are very grateful for their commitment and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship that I hope will take us all the way to World Cup 2023.
“In these very difficult times, we are very overwhelmed by the constant financial support, encouragement and donations in cash and kind we have received to date.
“The performance and participation of the team and their coaches would simply not be possible without it. There has been a strong foundation built for the team and we look forward to seeing their success in the weeks to come,” she said.
The Sables are currently in camp and will take on Zambia, Namibia and the Blue Bulls before kick-starting their Rugby Africa Cup campaign with a trip to Tunisia on July 12.
Zimbabwe will take on Zambia in Harare on June 2 and June 5, and then clash with the Namibian Welwitschias in a home-and-away tie.
They will then round off their preparations with a game against a Blue Bulls select side in July.