There has been a lot of support from the corporate world in recent years towards schools sports. It has become almost like a race of sorts with companies trying to back successful teams in the various schools sports leagues in Zimbabwe.
From sponsoring a full league to sponsoring a particular tour are all forms of sponsorship we have seen in recent times. There are obvious benefits to backing schools sports, one being visibility for the businesses involved. For most of the companies involved it’s just a way of giving back to their clients as confirmed by this statement made by Health International.
“HEALTH International is proud to be associated with St. John’s College and Preparatory School, through the sponsorship of their sports programme namely the T20 Cricket and rugby. As they are members of HEALTH International, we believe in giving back to the community in which we operate. As sponsors, we promote the school ethos and environment, which encourages a healthy lifestyle through their various sporting programmes.”
In this post we list and discuss some of the companies that have been pushing Zimbabwean schools sport forward.
One of the most prominent Zimbabwean banks, Stanbic revived the local schools rugby league by sponsoring the Super 9 Rugby league. This sort of competition had been long forgotten in Zimbabwe but with the involvement of Stanbic Bank, sports lovers were kept entertained through out the rugby season. All teams participating in the league had their kits sponsored and branded by Stanbic Bank. We have been reliably informed that the league is going to be bigger and better this year with Stanbic set to invest more money in schools rugby to include more teams in the league.
Under their Coca Cola brand, Delta beverages has continued to support local schools sport. The annual COPA Coca Cola Soccer tournament sponsored by Delta runs in all the countries ten provinces, with the national finals set for a particular weekend during the Zimbabwean schools’s second term. Last year’s finals were held in Victoria Falls at Mosi-a-Tunya School from the 27th to the 29th of July. A team of twenty is selected during the tournament and this team is further sponsored by Coca Cola to attend the COPA Coca Cola international football camp. Last year the selected twenty traveled to Johannesburg for the training camp with their immediate predecessors from 2011 had traveled to London to practice at Chelsea.
Nigel Chanakira’s brainchild, Kingdom bank has been involved in schools sports for a while now. Over the years they have sponsored one of the countries most successful schools basketball team, the Prince Edward Panthers. Eaglesvale rugby has also benefited from Kingdom’s social responsibility drive having had their team kit sponsored by Kingdom Bank.
Health International & Bon Marche
The St Johns College T20, arguably one of the most prestigious schools sports festival in the country is sponsored by Health International together with Bon Marche. Health International has always been involved in St John’s sport but with the T20 festival they went all out. Each of the eight teams that took part in last year’s edition had their kit sponsored by Health International and Bon Marche. The festival featured three teams from our neighboring South Africa and five of our local schools.
The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe
The biggest festival of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the annual Cottco Schools Rugby Festival is proudly sponsored by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe. “COTTCO” as the festival is widely known, runs for a week with over 200 teams playing three games each. Starting from 2011 the tournament included girls rugby and the number of schools taking part seems in the festival is increasing as well. Cottco continues to grow with the festival hosting schools and teams from Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.
We certainly hope to see more companies coming in to support schools sport this year. Did your team/school receive any form of sponsorship from a business entity in the past year or two? If so please leave the name of the business entity and the name of recipient team/school in the comment section below.