Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Rugby Union (ZRU) has secured sponsorship for the Under-21 men’s league that will see winners from the Harare provincial league taking on
Bulawayo Metropolitan Rugby Football Board (BMRFB) champions when games resume.
Government announced a blanket ban on gatherings around recreational facilities which include sports bars, swimming pools, gyms and stadia until further notice in efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19.
A review of the ban will be made after 60 days, with ZRU vice-president (south) Martin Shone saying a Press conference will be held to reveal details of the Under-21 rugby sponsorship.
“A sponsorship deal for the Under-21 league was secured before the ban of all sporting activities due to coronavirus.
“Harare province secured the deal and as vice-president south, I brought it this side. Details of the deal will be revealed at a Press conference where we are going to invite you,” said Shone.
The ZRU vice-president said the sponsorship is specifically for the finals to be played in two legs in Harare and Bulawayo.
Shone said during his second term as ZRU vice-president (south), he will strive to ensure that there is development in his constituencies made up of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Midlands, Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces.
“Maybe it was an oversight to watch BMRFB do its affairs without giving much input because I thought since they had their structure, we trusted that they could do things right. This time around, I’m here to help if the provincial boards feel they need my help. Together we can improve the sport of rugby,” said Shone.
The ZRU vice-president had been blamed for “abandoning” rugby in the southern region, something he vehemently denies.
Shone has expressed his desire to resuscitate the sport in Government schools that had stopped playing, especially in Midlands.
He said he will work tirelessly to ensure that schools like Chaplin, Guinea Fowl and Fletcher resume playing the sport.
Not only should they play but Shone wants them to contribute players to the junior national teams.
Steps are being taken to invigorate rugby in Midlands and Masvingo, with ZRU Provincial Development Officer, Ruben Kumpasa, who has been stationed in Bulawayo being moved to look after the two provinces.
There are also plans to move another PDO, George Mukorera to Matabeleland South to drive development of the sport in that province. — @ZililoR