ZIMBABWE Rugby Union on Friday distributed food hampers to national team players as well as coaches based in the Southern Region at a function held at Queens Sports Club.

The hampers were bought using the World Rugby Food and Medical Relief fund where 5 000 Euros was made available to ZRU through Rugby Africa. From that amount, US$3 00 has so far been used to purchase food hampers as well as mealie meal with the remaining funds to be used for the procurement of medical requirements when rugby eventually resumes. Food hampers were also given to ZRU employees as well as referees who did international assignments in 2019. The mealie meal is being is meat to benefit the vulnerable from the registered 62 clubs countrywide.

Speaking at the handover event, ZRU vice president south, Martin Shone thanked Rugby Africa for making the funds available for the purchase of food as well as medicinal necessities.

“We got some funding from Rugby Africa to help our players and a committee was set up to get medicines and food aid and today we going to hand over to national team players and to our provinces who in turn will then give to the clubs. I would like to thank Rugby Africa for such a kind gesture, we know a lot of guys have lost their jobs because of this Covid-19,’’ Shone said.

Knowledge Moyo, a member of the sub committee appointed by ZRU to handle the funds said handing out the hampers was their way as a union of alleviating the burden brought about by Covid-19.

“As ZRU we are playing our part in the wake of the global pandemic the contagious Covid-19. We have seen it fit to play our small part towards responding to a national crisis by availing these goods to our players and staff as we aspire to build a healthy and prosperous rugby loving nation,’’ Moyo said.

Ingwebu Breweries also gave masks, umbrellas and mahewu drinks to all recipients of the ZRU hampers. Shone stated that they were looking at fostering a partnership with Ingwebu in terms of rugby development.

“Ingwebu Breweries have also come in at short notice, going forward we are going to partner with them to develop rugby in Zimbabwe, they are going to be our partners going forward.”

Ray Makwaiba, Ingwebu sales and distribution manager said they looking to work closely with ZRU in promoting their brands.

“As Ingwebu we are proud and happy to partner Zimbabwe Rugby and at the same time to grow our brand. In terms of our brand coming out loud we are really happy to come in and partner Zimbabwe Rugby Union, we will hear from the Zimbabwe Rugby Union in terms of what exactly we have to do as partners,’’ Makwaiba said.

Rugby is one of the sporting activities still banned in the country as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. This means locally based players who rely on allowances from national or club assignments have been left with no sources to look after themselves.