Young Sables get US$50 000 windfall
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 02:00
President Mugabe greets Zimbabwe Under 19 rugby team Captain Sean Linfield and coach Bright Chivandire while Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere looks on at State House yesterday
Augustine Hwata Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe rugby Under-19 side, still basking in the glory of being crowned winners of the Junior Africa Cup, yesterday joined the growing list of trailblazing sports stars to present their achievements before President Mugabe at State House.
The Young Sables beat Namibia 29-17 before an appreciative crowd to successfully defend their title at Prince Edward last month.
By winning the Junior Africa Cup, the schoolboys team once again booked a place at the Junior World Cup Trophy finals set for the United States next year.
Last year, Zimbabwe took part at the world finals in Moscow, Russia, and early this year the Young Sables were in Tliblisi, Georgia, for the same event.
Yesterday, coach Brighton Chivandire and his teenage stars had a chance to meet President Mugabe and present the big trophy they retained on July 31.
The President gave the Young Sables US$50 000.
Walter Kambwanji and George Manyere, representing Ecobank, donated the cash following an appeal by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere.
The team said the money will be used for player development and welfare. Skipper Sean Linfield of Lomagundi College presented President Mugabe with a replica jersey, a cap and a rugby ball with the signatures of all the players.
The junior rugby team joins the Mighty Warriors, athlete Stephen Muzhingi, swimmer Kirsty Coventry, the Warriors and Paralympic champion Elliot Mujaji among the list of outstanding sports personalities who have met the President.
President Mugabe said achievements in rugby had largely gone unnoticed because the sport was not as popular as football in this country.
He then challenged the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and the Sports Commission to prioritise the development of physical education as much as intellectual development at schools.
“It’s a pleasure for us to meet you and have the chance to be familiar with you and your history of performance.
“Your achievements have not been publicised sufficiently but you remain victors, victors who are unsung.
“It’s unlike soccer where the achievements are known,” said President Mugabe.
President Mugabe said he follows rugby while he has played tennis before.
He challenged the Sports Commission to put a programme to ensure physical education was well embraced in schools.
“It’s a joy really to have this acquaintance with you. I always give the encouragement that education is not just the mathematics, but there is also the physical aspect.”
President Mugabe said it was important for the SRC to be pro-active and introduce games to many schools around the country so that Zimbabwe will be a force to reckon with.
He said funding could be a hindrance but in some cases it required just initiatives for sport to develop.
Linfield said it was an honour for the team to meet the Head of State.
“It’s a great honour for me and the team to meet His Excellency. This will be a great motivation for us to work hard and achieve more success,” he said.
Chivandire said the team would like to come for a send-off by President Mugabe before leaving for the United States next year.