Nedbank announces sponsorship for revamped Rugby Challenge Cup

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One of the country’s leading commercial banks, Nedbank, has further enhanced its association with Zimbabwe Rugby after unveiling a US$23 000 sponsorship kitty for the second edition of the Nedbank Challenge Cup.

The 2023 Nedbank Challenge Cup which was launched at a ceremony in Harare on Monday will be played at Harare Sports Club from March 17 to 23.

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Nedbank’s sponsorship package for this year’s tournament takes their investment in local rugby over the past two years to almost US $400 000, underlining the financial institution’s commitment to the development of Zimbabwean rugby.

In addition to sponsoring the Nedbank Challenge Cup, the bank, also bankrolled the Sables during their participation in the Currie Cup First Division and the Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

The financial institution also extended its support to Zimbabwe’s Under-20 rugby side, the Junior Sables ahead of last year’s successful trip to Canada.

Nedbank’s executive head of sales and origination Heresy Herry said their sponsorship for local rugby underscores the financial institution’s commitment to supporting community programs.

“Many will ask why is Nedbank doing all this, surely there are a lot of competing needs and demands…Our response is that while we are financial intermediaries because that is what we are known for as a bank, we are also opportunity intermediaries. Any organisation that is invested in communities, Nedbank will partner as part of our key ethos and values, we are so big in communities because that’s where we get our customers,” Herry said.

Zimbabwe Rugby Union president Aaron Jani said the Nedbank Challenge Cup has played an important role in ensuring local players get the much-needed game time ahead of important international assignments.

“The Nedbank challenge has become such a critical component of our business as a union, this is the competition that is now helping us giving us game time so that our coaches and selectors can get an opportunity to have look at what they have in terms of talent, ” Jani said.

“In the past, we had struggled in terms of game time and being ready for regional and international competitions, so the presence of Nedbank and the Nedbank Challenge has come in and bridged the gap for us to compete at the regional and international level,” he added

Eight teams namely Old Georgians, Old Hararians, Harare Sports Club, Pitbulls, Matabeleland Warriors, Mutare Sports Club, Nedbank U20 High-Performance Squad and the Nedbank Development teams have confirmed their participation in the event.

The season-opening tournament event plays an important role in grassroots player development by providing a pathway for excelling players into national structures.

This year’s tournament will give local players the much-needed competitive game time ahead of the Rugby Africa Barthes U20 Trophy in Kenya and the Currie Cup First Division in South Africa.

 

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