Nedbank Zimbabwe has extended its support for rugby in Zimbabwe after unveiling a sponsorship package of US$20 000 for the national Under-20 rugby team which is scheduled to participate in the World Rugby U20 International Series in Ontario, Canada from August 9 to 24.
By continuing its support for national rugby teams, the commercial banking company reaffirms its commitment to grassroots and professional rugby in Zimbabwe.
Nedbank are the headline sponsor of the Sables, who missed out on the automatic ticket to next year’s Rugby World Cup during the qualifiers played in France last month while they also sponsored the Rugby Challenge Cup.
They are now set to extend the sponsorship to the Junior Sables, who in April made the nation proud by winning the Rugby Africa Under-20 Barthes Trophy in April after upstaging old foes Namibia 19-14 in the final of the eight-team competition in Kenya.
The latest sponsorship for the Junior Sables takes Nedbank Zimbabwe’s investment in Zimbabwe to US$350 000 within a period of 12 months.
Nedbank’s Executive Head of Sales & Origination, Heresy Herry said: “The exploits by the Under 20s certainly cannot go unrecognised. We were watching when they were playing in the Barthes Cup in Kenya. We will not be only giving the team good wishes as they head to Canada but we are unveiling our modest support for the Under-20 rugby team which takes our contribution to Zimbabwe Rugby to US$350 000 in a space of 12 months. We are a bank that believes in empowering the community because they are our customers, if the community succeeds, we succeed.”
Wednesday evening’s sponsorship unveiling sponsorship ceremony was also graced by Sables head coach Brendan Dawson and captain Hilton Mudariki, who both apologised to their principal sponsors for failing to fulfill their primary objective of qualifying for the World Cup.
However Herry insisted that they had nothing to apologise for and praised the Sables for being true ambassadors of their brand and the nation as a whole by giving their best despite missing out on the automatic ticket to next year’s Rugby World Cup during last month’s qualifiers in France.
“You’ve got absolutely nothing to apologise for and that is coming from your key note sponsor, there’s only one thing that will ask of you going forward, may you please believe in yourselves the same way we continue to believe in you,” Herry said.
“Your conduct has been worthy of admiration like what coach Brendan Dawson said they literally left everything on the pitch. And talk of admiration as Nedbank we always strive to be a bank that is admired by its shareholders and customers and also the community. So, whenever we get the opportunity to partner with like-minded institutions, we always harness those opportunities. As money experts we strive to do good. Last year when we unveiled the initial US$120 000 sponsorship there was only one thing, we asked for which was that rugby be spread and propagated to formerly marginalised communities that is our only request from you and may that continue. I’m also happy that you have reciprocated when looking at the four youngsters who have secured contracts in France. Those are the success stories that we aspire for and that is what we live for as an institution,” he added.
Nedbank’s sponsorship for the Junior Sables is expected to go a long way in aiding their preparations for the World Rugby U20 International Series, where they will clash against the hosts Canada, Chile and Uruguay.
The high-profile tournament will give an opportunity for the participating teams to prepare for the World Rugby U20 Championship which will return next year after being put on hold for the last two seasons due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.