THE Zambia rugby team has received a financial boost ahead of their trip to Kenya for the 18th edition of the Safaricom Sevens tournament following a K27, 000 donation from Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) Plc to go towards preparations.
Both Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) president Martin Musunka and MCM corporate affairs manager Oscar Matebele confirmed this in separate interviews yesterday.
Musunka said ZRU would remain indebted to MCM for the gesture that would ease the burden of preparing the team for the tournament that starts on Friday, September 20, and would come to an end on Sunday in Nairobi.
He said Mopani had been an all-weather friend of sports development in the country and further hailed MCM chief executive officer Danny Callow for responding positively to ZRU’s appeal for sponsorship.
Musunka last week appealed for support from the business community to prepare the Zambian contingent adequately for the Safaricom rugby event.
He expressed confidence that the squad called into camp had the potential to produce positive results against its opponents at the tournament.
And Matebele said the mining firm had given ZRU K27, 000 to help in preparing the squad for the Safaricom Sevens tournament.
Meanwhile, the squad is today expected to hold its first training session in Lusaka but by press time yesterday only two players in the 20-member provisional squad named at the weekend had reported for camp, prompting coach Musonda Kaminsa to push forward training to today.
The squad has Benaya Mukwamba, Robert Chilundama, Hopeman Kanema, Kelvin Kampandu, Ackim Mushota, Ephraim Musukwa, and Fine Chikamba (Diggers).
Others are Israel Kalumba, Kapindu Nyangu, MacGiven Muchindu, Shelleni Michelo, and Jacob Musukwa (Lusaka), and Terry Kaushiku, Nigel Chibwe, and Kelvin Kampandu, (Red Arrows).
Fernard Kashimoto (Green Buffaloes), Joshua Gabriel, Martin Chisanga (Konkola), Thaddious Chipoya (Green Eagles) and MacDonald Mashawu are also part of the team.