$1m shot in the arm for Naaz

HARARE - The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) received a huge boost after JM Busha 54 Races yesterday unveiled a $1,2 million sponsorship for the next four years.

JM Busha 54 Races is a non-profit organisation involved in social investment programmes aimed at promoting sport, education, peace, stability, harmony and unity among people and nations and will be injecting over $300 000 per year to Naaz for different races.

While modalities in other countries such as Kenya are still underway the annual JM Busha 54 Marathons Race, will be held in Harare on May 25, where athletes from across the country are expected to take part.

A similar race will also take part in South Africa during the same month.

It will be followed by the Elite JM Busha 54 Marathons Race in July where athletes from across Africa are expected to attend.

The event will serve as a springboard for athletes in the field and track events to practice and work towards representing the country at the Olympics.

The organisation’s country representative Vimbai Zinyama said they have been driven by the passion to see Zimbabwe and other African countries produce world class athletes.

“This is not a once-off relationship, we have a four-year partnership and we will be releasing $300 000 annually,” Zinyama said.

“JM Busha 54 Races needs to get as many participants as possible to participate and access the available opportunities in preparation for global competitions as well as building a culture of winning in a peaceful way.

Naaz president, Tendai Tagara lauded the sponsorship deal saying it was a welcome development at a time the prevailing economic hardships have seen many corporates either downscaling or completely withdrawing their sponsorship of athletics meets.

“This is what we said when we assumed office that we want to build a brand that can attract partners and I think this is the beginning,” Tagara said.

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