Zambezi Lager boost for Cheetahs

HARARE – The Zimbabwe 7s rugby national team has agreed on a one-year sponsorship deal worth $100 000 with Delta Beverages that will see Zambezi Lager becoming the Cheetahs’ official sponsor.

The Zambezi Cheetahs are currently preparing for the forthcoming 2017 Africa Cup Sevens tournament which will be held in Kampala, Uganda in October.

If the team reaches the final of the tournament in Kampala, they will also qualify for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens finals to be held in San Francisco, USA.

The top two teams in Kampala will also become core members of the 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series. Speaking at the official ceremony to unveil the sponsorship yesterday, Delta Beverages sales executive Stanley Muchenje said: “We believe that this partnership represents what we cherish the most and believe that we are makers of our own success.

“That is the desire that drives Delta to sponsor sports; as you are aware, we are into other various sports sponsorships. We believe that the Cheetahs are a special team, with special qualities that we would like to be associated with; qualities that we also share.”

With the Sevens game now an Olympic sport, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (Zoc) president Admire Masenda praised the company for coming on board.

“As Zoc, we would like to thank Delta for this funding ... There is a slot for rugby sevens in Tokyo 2019; you (Zambezi Cheetahs) just have to make it happen (qualify). If you make it happen, I promise you that, we will take you to Tokyo,” Masenda said.

Zimbabwe Sevens Committee chairperson Colleen de Jong said:

“The road to San Francisco begins with the Cheetahs’ aim to achieve the maximum possible standards through what has been a rigorous talent identification process, strength and conditioning, high performance training and continuous participation in international tournaments,” de Jong said.

Zambezi Cheetahs captain Hilton Mudariki said: “As players, we are grateful that Delta has come on board. They have put in a lot of money for us players on our road to qualifying for the World Cup next year.

“We just hope to focus on one game at a time and hopefully get to the final which will qualify us for the World Cup although our main goal is to win the Africa Cup.”

Zambezi Cheetahs training squad:

Tapiwa Tsomondo, Riaan O’Neil (False Bay, SA), Njabulo Ndhlovu (UWC, SA), Biselele Tshamala, Ngoni Chibuwe (College Rovers, SA), Brian Dube Old Boys, SA), Mkhululi Ndhlela (Tuks, SA), Hilton Mudariki (Pirates, SA), Gardner Nechiroga (Raiders, SA), Boyd Rouse (Bury, UK), Connor Pritchard (Griffith University, Australia), Shayne Makombe (RC Compiegnois, France), Tafadzwa Chitokwindo (TV Pforzheim, Germany), Lucky Sithole, Osbourne Muhambi, Takudzwa Kumadiro, Takudzwa Francisco, Zepheniah Nkomo, Shingi Hlanguyo, Russell Dodo (Sportivo), Stephan Hunduza, Scotty Jones, Lenience Tambwera, Takudzwa Chieza, Shingi Katsvere, Wilson Seremani (OGs), Innocent Nyatsanza, McDonald Kazingizi, Prince Dube (Police Defenders), Gideon Muyambo, Dennis Museredza (Mutare SC), Tinashe Gwisai, Joshua Gando, Tichafara Makwanya (OH), Nelson Madida, Taraisai Mugariri, Walter Gode, Theodore Chiremba (Mat Warriors), Kilvan Magunje (Gweru SC).

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