HARARE – Zimbabwe karate team got a shot in the arm following the donation of protective gear ahead of their participation at the AUSC Region 5 Games in Mozambique this weekend.
Local sports betting company, Africabet availed the sponsorship comprising gloves, mouth guards, and competition belts as well as branded tracksuits for the 40-member delegation made of 31 athletes and nine officials valued at $5 000. Apart from the kit, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) also provided transport to and from Mozambique for the team.
Zimbabwe Karate Union (ZKU) top referee Sensei Eugene Moody, who has been involved in the sport’s administration for over 30 years, paid tribute to Africabet for their continued support.
“I look at this huge sponsorship, we have never been this lucky ever; we pushed and pushed 20-30 years ago but never managed to get sponsorship of this magnitude,” Moody said.
“We are thankful for the support which comes just in time for the games in Mozambique and we believe our karetekas have got every reason to be at their usual best at the tournament.”
SRC spokesperson Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said: “ZKU is one association that SRC holds in very high esteem. You will remember that SRC is mandated not just to oversee sports associations in the country but also to look at issues to do with governance. And you will realise that governance is the cornerstone of development and even expanding any sport association and when we talk of karate, for four times in a row they have won the most organised discipline in the country and I have been assured that in 2017 they will take that award once again (he quipped).
“These guys are in business and when they are in business they also want to protect their brand.”
Africabet chief executive Brian Makwabarara pledged continued support for ZKU.
“Once again we are very proud of continuing with our association with ZKU not only on national level but also on international level,” Makwabarara said.
“There was a need to provide transport and we got assistance from SRC they really did put a lot of effort in facilitating a bus that was reasonably priced from the ministry…we want you to compete, enjoy yourselves and represent Zimbabwe with pride.”