HARARE-Zimbabwe rugby prospects are looking brighter ahead of the 2019 World Cup after a local legal firm, Titan Law, announced a trust to take care of the senior men’s national team needs in future assignments.
The Sables Trust — whose major contributors are Titan Law, Portnext International and Zeuttew Resources — became active about a month ago, and covered all expenses and allowances when the team won the Gold Cup away fixture in Senegal last month.
Ultimately, the trust, according to the organisers, will bankroll the Sables’ on-the-road to World Cup qualification, with an option to continue thereafter.
“We have already started supporting the Sables. The trust paid for all other transport costs including air tickets, food and accommodation, as well as the players’ match and camp allowances for the Senegal game,” a partner at Titan Law, Vengai Madzima, said.
“The idea is to support the team until they make it to the 2019 World Cup and after that, we will be directed by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union [ZRU] in line with their plans. We feel that if the welfare of players is 100%, we will begin to see world-class rugby in this country.”
Madzima said the trustees, Titan Law, had committed themselves to food and accommodation, while Portnex International would handle travel and tickets for players from outside the country and players outside Harare, while Zeuttew Resources bound themselves to pay the players’ allowances.
The trust is expected to help reduce the loss of Zimbabwean talent to other countries.
“A lot of our players go out of the country and opt to play for other countries. We hope we are going to help retain all our players from junior to national level,” he said.
ZRU chief executive officer, Blessing Chiutare expressed gratitude for the establishment of the Sables Trust.
“It’s a very good partnership because it helps us get to where we want to go. It helps lift the burden on us because we had a lot on our shoulders. Our players were opting to go to clubs outside the country and some of those clubs were refusing to release players. But now we are going to be able to do everything professionally and get all of our players,” he said.
“We are currently ranked 35 in the world because we have not had access to all our players. If we can get all our players, we can easily move into the top 20. I also don’t see us failing to qualify for the World Cup, so it’s a big shot in the arm for us.”
The Sables play Namibia in Windhoek this weekend for their second Rugby Africa Gold Cup match. NEWSDAY