BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWE’S maiden participation in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge received a major boost after international mining investment company Zerttew Resources was unveiled as the Zimbabwe Academy side’s headline sponsors ahead of the tournament scheduled for April 27 to June 29 in South Africa.
Zerttew, who were the main sponsors of the Zimbabwe senior rugby side, the Sables, during last year’s Rugby Africa Gold Cup campaign will continue their romance with domestic rugby as sponsors after extending their partnership with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU).
Zerttews’ human resources and office manager Tendai Pasipamire said they were proud to extend their partnership with Zimbabwean rugby.
“Zerttew is very proud to be associated with rugby in Zimbabwe. Last year, for the first time we sponsored Zimbabwe to the tune of $1 million and our sponsorship took care of the Zimbabwe men’s team and technical team’s welfare, accommodation and all the allowances that were needed on the ground,” said Pasipamire.
The international mining investment company, founded and headquartered in Zimbabwe with offices in Johannesburg South Africa and Luxembourg, will take responsibility of Academy side’s players’ and technical team’s welfare.
Portnex International, a South African commodities and energy trading company and Zimbabwean attorney firm Titan Law are the other sponsors which have been brought on board by the Sables Trust led by prominent lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa.
“Our main objective in doing this was to ensure that our players and professionals associated with them were well taken care of and could focus on winning the Africa Cup.
Although we avoided relegation we weren’t able to achieve this mammoth task at hand, but we saw that our participation and sponsorship really uplifted the players and technical team and the exposure that they gain from our sponsorship was well received in the rugby community at large,” she added.
ZRU vice-president Losson Mtongwiza paid tribute to Zerttew Resources and other sponsors for continuing to support Zimbabwe rugby.
“I want to start by thanking Zerttew for the confidence they have shown in Zimbabwe rugby for the second year running. We are very honoured and grateful . . . we would like our relationship to continue for many years to come. I also want to thank Portnex, Titan Law; it’s really a team of supporters that has come in, and Zerttew is the captain of the team. They (Zerttew) have done very well to ensure that the team of sponsors is held in very high esteem, we have had, by far, the most support for any sporting code in the country over the last two years.”
Mtongwiza also paid tribute to the Sables Trust’s chairman Mlotshwa for working round the clock to secure sponsors and partners for the local game.
“I also want to thank Titan Law as a sponsor and Gerald Mlotshwa the Sables Trust chairman you have done so much for rugby and we are so grateful for your support. Your being there has allowed us to achieve the things we sought out to achieve at the beginning. …Without financial support we all know that it (participation in the SuperSport Challenge) would not happen, it would just be a pipe dream. We want to build a team that will not only play in this year’s SuperSport Challenge, but would also be promoted to the Currie Cup and go all the way to become a super rugby team. Zimbabwe has the talent and personnel and if we all come together we will be able to achieve something massive,” he said.