Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
SPORT Minister Kirsty Coventry has challenged Dynamos and Highlanders to ‘safeguard’ the sponsorship packages from energy company, Sakunda Holdings, to attract more corporates into the game.
The sponsorship deal, which was unveiled at a local hotel in Harare last night, will see each team getting ZWL 75 650 000 per year until 2023.
The money is meant to cover players’ salaries and allowances, sign on fees, operational and administration while there is a package for winning the championship and qualifying for the CAF Champions League.
And speaking at the event, Minister Coventry saluted Sakunda Holdings for the gesture saying DeMbare and Bosso should be responsible with the sponsorship.
She said the deal comes with ‘huge responsibility’.
“I would like to thank Sakunda for this has come at a time when clubs are in need of this kind of support.
“This gift from Sakunda comes with huge responsibilities because you have to ensure that these sponsorships are looked after so that other corporates come into sport, we have to earn that respect from the corporate as a sports fraternity,” said Coventry.
The Minister said the country’s two big teams should lead by example and help lure more sponsors into football.
“We have seen some bad governance amongst our sport fraternity, we have to push ourselves to be better, because that is how we are going to improve the game.
“It’s a giant first step and I would like to thank Sakunda Holdings for the faith in sport, I know what sport can do, I know the power it has. I have seen it after winning an Olympic medal coming back to a country torn apart all come together and I want to see soccer among other sport leading that way. I want to see our sports men and women inspiring generations, up and coming athletes, they want to be like you, so be that good role models, show them the path,” she said.
Coventry also challenged people to start celebrating sports personalities which Sakunda Holdings took the leading role.
“We really need to start celebrating who we are as a country. I cannot ask corporates to come on board and support our sports if we don’t celebrate them ourselves. So let’s start by celebrating the men and women of our sport by honouring them for all the hard work they put to make their dreams a reality,” she said.
And Kuda Tagwirei, through Sakunda Holdings was quick to react and announced donations of houses worth US$90 000 to DeMbare and Bosso legends Moses Chunga and Madinda Ndlovu.
He also honoured the family of the late football legend George Shaya with a house worth Us$120 000.
The coaches and captains of the two teams were also promised cars.
In their speeches, DeMbare and Bosso described the deals as ‘special marriages’.