HomeSportRugbyLack of funds threatens Sables’ trips

Lack of funds threatens Sables’ trips

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THE Zimbabwe Sables committee — a brand committee under the Zimbabwe Rugby Union — is launching an appeal to the corporate world to partner the national rugby team, who are struggling to find funding for two end-of-year trips to Namibia in November and Dubai in December.

BY SPORTS REPORTER

In Namibia, the Sables, who are the reigning CAR Africa Cup champions, are scheduled to take part in a regional tournament from November 10-17 before they travel to United Arab Emirates for the Emirates Four Nations Cup, which runs from December 8 to 14 in Dubai.

Sables’ committee chairman Bongai Zamchiya said in a statement: “We are not ones to pass around a begging bowl, but we have to acknowledge the fact that continuation of our sport is threatened without support.

“Furthermore, we are not looking at charity, but rather at engaging in a mutually-beneficial relationship with Sables’ partners.

“One would think that with the on-field success of the Sables, corporate Zimbabwe would be seeking to be actively involved in a winning brand. Unfortunately that is not that case.

“We have seen the cancellation of the Victoria Cup and it would be a tragedy for us to cancel these games as well.”

Zamchiya added: “I believe there is a misconception that rugby is a minority sport. However, it is a growing and very popular sport.

“Last year’s game against Kenya had in excess of 6 000 attendees and we were limited by the venue, with more keen to come and watch.

“Furthermore, the centralisation of club games means that large numbers are attending games and the crowds would compete with those of smaller Premier Soccer League teams. Finally, rugby is a non-racial game that is enjoyed and played by people of all races in Zimbabwe.”

Recently, Sables won the CAR Africa Cup in Tunisia to put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England for the first time since 1991.

Currently the Sables are unbeaten in seven international games.

This success has been acknowledged by the International Rugby Board who invited the Sables to play in an international tournament in Dubai in December where they will play three Tests against Belgium, Mexico and Hong Kong.

This tournament targets up-and-coming nations in the rugby world.

Prior to this engagement, they have also been invited to Namibia to play two Tests against Namibia and Spain and a friendly against a South African Barbarians team.

Numerous approaches have been made to corporate Zimbabwe with limited success.

This is despite the success of the team on-field and the accountability of the Sables Committee whose books are monitored by Deloitte as audit partners.

The Sables have engaged a large number of companies and recently hosted a Sables Indaba to brief corporate Zimbabwe on the goings on in Zimbabwean rugby.

They have received support from Sports minister Senator David Coltart, Tendai Mtawarira (Springbok and Sharks player) along with former Springbok Zimbabwe-born players Tonderai Chavhanga and Brian Mujati.

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