Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) has expressed gratitude to Old Mutual Zimbabwe for the continued support to local rugby at grassroots level in what has been hailed as the largest single investment in sport development in the country.
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The diversified financial services group donated playing kits to 36 teams from Harare, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Hwange which will take part in the Tag Rugby Community Club League initiative.
This came after Old Mutual recently partnered with Tag Rugby Trust Zimbabwe in setting up a Community Club League for primary schoolchildren in an effort to develop young talent and raise the profile of the sport in the country.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union general manager Sifiso Made said: “Far too often we have struggled to do well as a nation because of lack of support from local corporates. Because of that, we are really happy that Old Mutual has come on board in a really big way to support rugby from community level with the primary schoolchildren right up to the Junior Sables.
“We really appreciate the support they have given to Tag Rugby as well as Zimbabwe Rugby Union and we hope more companies will come on board this game called rugby that we all love too much,” Made said.
Old Mutual Zimbabwe has been involved in local junior rugby since 2014 when they unveiled a broad sponsorship package for schools rugby that covers development of teams in previously disadvantaged communities, as well as provincial and national select sides.
Old Mutual also recently announced that they would be extending their sponsorship to the national under-18 girls’ team which is set to participate at the Girls Week Festival in Kimberly, South Africa from July 4-8.
However, while initial sponsorship benefitted players within the ages of 12-19 years in selected high-density suburbs in Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo, the new partnership with Tag Rugby Trust Zimbabwe is expected to target additional participants in the six to 12 age group categories.
Old Mutual group marketing executive Lillian Mubayiwa said their partnership with Tag Rugby Community Club League would help increase participation in the sport by giving opportunities to thousands of boys and girls to take up the sport
“This is the first year that we have supported Tag Rugby and we are quite excited about the sponsorship because we have gone down to a much younger audience or participants which is different age groups which we have been supporting before,” she said.