Zambia Open receives K42,000 sponsorship package

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THE Zambia Open Tennis Championship yesterday received a major boost when Kansanshi Mining unveiled a K42,000 sponsorship package.
Kansanshi Mining Plc is a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals (FQM).
The event dubbed the FQM Zambia Open Tennis Championship that has attracted participants from China and Serbia, among others, got underway yesterday at Lusaka Club.
Defending champion Edgar Kazembe, who was expected on court late yesterday, is optimistic of retaining the title.
Presenting the K42,000 cheque at the FQM country offices in Lusaka yesterday, Kansanshi Mining public relations manager Godfrey Msiska said the mining firm attaches great importance to the development of sport in the country.
Msiska said FQM supports various sports disciplines, which include football and rugby.
He said FQM has sponsored the Zambia Open Tennis Championship for the second successive year and pledged his company’s commitment to supporting the sport.
“Zambia is richly endowed with a variety of mineral resources and sporting talent. Being Zambia’s largest copper-producer puts us in a position where we can also mine sporting talent and we are already doing that in the North-Western Province where we support Kansanshi Dynamos Football Club. We also support a number of other sports in schools around Solwezi and on the Copperbelt,” he said.
Kansanshi Dynamos is in the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Division One North league.
In football, FQM funded the operations of FAZ from 2009 to 2010 that included the paying of salaries of national team coaches and purchasing of vehicles at the cost of K2.5 million.
FQM also spent K800,000 on the live broadcast of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, K1.25 million on the finals and K1.3 million to broadcast live the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.
The mining firm was also part of the 2013 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Castle Senior Challenge Cup spending a total of K325,000 to charter a plane to shuttle football teams between Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
And Deputy Minister of Sport Stephen Masumba paid tribute to FQM for its commitment in supporting sport.
Masumba said in a speech read for him by Ministry of Sport acting permanent secretary Boniface Nalishebo that such sponsorships have helped resuscitate the sport, adding that it was through such events that the country can produce future champions.
Zambia Tennis Association president Francis Musonda thanked FQM for the sponsorship and urged the mining firm to continue supporting tennis.
Meanwhile, seed five Malcolm Muntungamire yesterday stormed the second round of the FQM Zambia Open Tennis Championship with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Zambia’s Sydney Soko at Lusaka Club.
Muntungamire, gunning for his debut Zambia Open title, was too strong for the un-seeded Soko, who struggled to deal with the Zimbabwean’s powerful backstrokes.
Hackson Mimethenemali of Zimbabwe also reached the second round with an impressive 6-1, 6-2 win over James Kaoma, while Clement Chanda beat Lawrence Banda in two straight sets, 6-1, 6-3 to set up a meeting with seed 10 Henry Banda.
Reigning champion Edgar Kazembe will start his defence of the title with a second round match against unseeded Sylvester Ntumba, while seed two Nkumbu Chonya will meet Hector Sando.