MARANGE Resources’ romance with Zimbabwe sport is set to continue after the mining company pledged to support the Zimbabwe senior rugby team as they aim to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO SPORTS REPORTER
The mining company — which is also into women’s football, golf and cricket — was one of the several companies that pledged to support the Sables during a fundraising dinner at a local hotel yesterday evening.
The function, which was meant to raise funds for the team’s upcoming tour of Dubai and for next year’s Test assignments, was graced by Education, Sports, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart, Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and representatives from several corporate companies.
A local commodity broker company Stromspice pledged $100 000 for the Sables starting in January next year.
Marange Resources chief executive officer Obed Dube said they had assisted the Sables on their recent trip to Namibia for Tri-Nations tourney and the upcoming Emirates Four Nations Cup in Dubai next month.
“There was an appeal that went around ahead of their recent trip to Namibia and the upcoming international tournament in Dubai and we chipped in towards the amount they were looking for.
“At the moment we are also involved in women’s football. Most recently, we got involved in golf and cricket and we feel that rugby also deserves the support,” said Dube.
“I personally think that the support they have got from the corporate and the whole of Zimbabwe doesn’t reflect their achievements. They recently won the Africa Cup and are in a strong position to qualify for the World Cup.
“I have worked with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union when I was a commissioner at the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) before my term ended in October. I can say that they have a very professional leadership that complied with all the requirements from the SRC and I think they are worth supporting towards their World Cup campaign,”
Zimbabwe Sables committee chairman Bongai Zamchiya indicated they were hoping to raise $45 000 for their participation at the Dubai tournament. The committee has also already started mobilising resources for the defence of the Africa Cup and Victoria Cup titles. The team is also expected to play against South African provincial sides Pumas and Blue Bulls.
Zimbabwe-born Springboks prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and former Springbok AJ Venter sent messages of support to the initiative, while UK-based Zimbabwe-born former Springbok Brian Mujati provided his signed replica jersey which was auctioned for $2 000.