Over the last number of years, Seed Co has become synonymous with Zimbabwean rugby. The giant seed producer’s rapid ascendancy to a position of influence in local rugby has not been accidental.
According to Seed Co marketing and public relations executive Marjorie Mutemererwa the group’s sponsorship of sport (rugby) in particular is a vehicle through which it can achieve a multiplicity of goals.
“Seed Co takes its own corporate social responsibility very seriously and considers contributing to our sport as a logical step. We have been in the game and will always be there to support,” she said.
The group is betting big on Zimbabwean rugby.
Earlier this week, the seed manufacturing behemoth extended a $20 000 sponsorship package to the Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby side, to assist with its preparations for the Junior World Rugby Trophy qualification campaign.
The Young Sables are in Windhoek, Namibia for the four team qualifier for Southern Africa hoping to be among the eight nations to participate at the World Cup.
The 2018 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy is in its eleventh edition.
Zimbabwe — along with seven other countries — is a possible host for the event as a host is yet to be decided.
The qualifiers will see the teams playing in a group stage, which will be followed by a knock-out round to determine the champion as well as promotion to next year’s World Rugby Under-20 Championships.
Mutemererwa said despite the economic challenges facing the country, the group was continuing with its sponsorship of local rugby, adding that the appointment of new Sables coach Peter De Villiers had impressed on them that Zimbabwean rugby was on the verge of restoring its glory days.
“We are excited by the Young Sables’ participation and, at this stage, we are confident that they will qualify. It’s something special and appointing De Villiers as the new coach is probably the best things ZRU has done.
“As Seed Co we felt we had to be part these exciting times in Zimbabwean rugby. Sport brings us together and when you take a seed from Seed Co you’re guaranteed of a bumper harvest. We are proud to be associated with a seed of courage and hope, remembering always that everything starts with seed,” she said.
While the company will gain with regards to brand awareness, Mutemererwa said it’s also part of Seed Co’s corporate social responsibility to give back to the community.
Seed Co’s sponsorship package includes a playing kit (a jersey, a pair of shorts and a pair of socks), tracksuits, kit bags and satchels for each of the 26 players in the team.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union president Aron Jani hailed Seed Co for their unwavering support aimed at improving the side’s welfare and boosting its campaign in the world junior tournament.
“This sponsorship is really very important because it shows the willingness of corporates to give to the communities they come from and it is also a sign of confidence in junior rugby in Zimbabwe.
“Such support will also make the boys work harder both on and off the field.
“We appreciate this support and we believe that it will go a long way in helping the team raise Zimbabwe’s flag during the tournament,” said Jani.
The Zimbabwe under-20 rugby team is under the tutelage of Farai Bob Mahari and Jeff Madhake.
Young Sables U-20 squad in Namibia
Matthew McNab (captain), Godfrey Mandiwanda (vice-captain), Cleopas Kundiona, Godfret Magaramombe, Joshua Mukurazhizha, Malvern Nyakuedzwa, Blithe Mavasere, Sam Garnett, Munashe Kujeke, Cameron Harrison, Victor Mupunga, Tichaona Hwangwa, Rufaro Chikwaira, Julian Tafireyi, Cosmas Mubaiwa, Munashe Kumunda, Tinashe Chaza, Connor McMillan, Tonderai Chiwambutsa, Jeremiah Jaravaza, Nigel Tinarwo, Tinotenda Savanhu, Taine Roelofsz, Mazvita Nyamarebvu and Munashe Kumunda.
Head coach: Bob Mahari
Assistant coach: Jeff Madhake
Team manager: Shingi Mutseyekwa
Physiotherapist: Abigail Munikwa
Fitness trainer: Mark Wilson.