Division One Central Region Soccer League (CRSL) has received a US$45 000 timely sponsorship boost to be spread for the next three seasons from a local Medical Aid company.
BY DELICIOUS MATHUTHU
Zimbabwe General Medical Aid Fund (ZIGMAF) has intervened in the Central Region sponsorship woes pledging US$15 000 for each season for the next three years as part of the company’s social responsibility programme.
In an interview with 263Chat, CRSL Chairman, Stanley Chapeta said the sponsorship deal is a welcome development for football in the region which will improve the level of competition.
“The sponsorship is a positive development for the region which will see a lot of competition among the teams as it encourages young players to exhibit their best as they now have something to play for,” he said.
Chapeta said the CRSL Board has since met and agreed that all teams in the league should get a piece of the cake, from the first position to the last no matter how small.
He said the Central Region could be rebranded to incorporate the new deal which is set to be officially launched early next month.
He said as his term in office nears the end, the biggest challenge he faced was securing sponsorship as he realized that companies are reluctant to assist until they get to know and associate with those in office.
“When I came into office my wish was to see a good footballing term and have more donors coming forth but unfortunately it seems doors are now opening up as my term is about to end.
“I realised that if people don’t know you they are not willing to assist but as they start to get to know you and associate more with you they start opening up,” Chapeta said.
Chapeta also pleaded with the Zimbabwe Football Association mother body in Harare to put their house in order as it is affecting the game in the regions.
“ZIFA has to clear itself, they have to organize themselves because what is happening discourages football development,” he said.
ZIGMAF, which is a subsidiary of TM Group of Companies, has also pledged to sponsor end of season awards for the league’s soccer stars.
ZIGMAF Manager Ms Moreblessing Kunyangwe said it’s the company’s policy to plough back to the community that it operates in targeting grassroots development with other subsidiaries ready to jump in, if funds permit.
“It has always been TM Group policy to give back to the community and by sponsoring Division One football we are achieving one of our visions.
“We have chosen Division One because that’s where grassroots development is so that we grow Midlands football together as you know we are headquartered in the Midlands.
“The major sponsoring portfolio was through ZIGMAF though other portfolios remain on standby to assist.”
Ms Kunyangwe said despite this being a three year sponsorship deal they are prepared to extend it further if successful.
“So far we are intending a three year sponsorship though we are looking forward to continually sponsor beyond the three year mark because such projects have been our secret to growth, she said.”
CRSL has been in the past seasons running with limited sponsorship, if any, as teams concentrated solely on playing for promotion into the Premier Soccer League which saw some teams that failed to succeed losing heart, some being defunct due to strenuous funding demands in running the teams.