By Ndinawe Simpelwe –
THE Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) says revamping the Castle International Sevens will be their top priority for the 2016 season.
And Mopani Copper Mines has sponsored full kit for the national team and referees for the 2016 season at a cost of K120,000 dollars.
Speaking after the union’s AGM on Friday at the New Ambassador Hotel in Ndola, ZRU president Clement Sinkamba revealed that the Castle Sevens remains one of the most important tournaments on the calendar but it has failed to take off over the last three consecutive years.
Sinkamba said the union had started engaging the sponsors, Zambia Breweries, to see how the tournament could be revived and brought back on the international rugby calendar.
Apart from getting sponsorship for Castle Sevens, the ZRU president further said the union would soon unveil sponsors for the league who have already accepted in principle and only paper work was remaining.
He, however, refused to name the sponsor but assured that it was a good deal that will help in the running of the league.
Sinkamba further described the year 2015 as successful because the ultimate target of qualifying the national team to Group 1B was achieved.
He added that this year, the target would be to progress to Group 1A when the team takes part in the qualifying tournament in Madagascar on a date to be announced.
He, however, said the team needed to be careful at the Madagascar tournament because a dismal performance would mean being relegated to Group 1C.
Meanwhile, Mopani has sponsored referees kit at a cost at a cost of K120, 000.
Sinkamba revealed that referees were an important component of the sport and needed to be motivated just like any other person involved in the game.
“We have to give thanks to Mopani for this kit sponsorship. Just as we look at player development, we also look at the motivation of referees hence this sponsorship extension to the referees,” Sinkamba said.