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Monday, July 15, 2024

President meets Young Sables

Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa congratulated the National Under 20 rugby team the Young Sables for winning the Barthes Trophy and implored them to continue raising the country’s flag.

He said this at State House in Harare this Monday when he met the Young Sables, who are preparing for the Junior World Qualifiers.

The Young Sables are the reigning African champions after edging Namibia to win the Barthes Trophy last year.

The team went on to finish second in the World Rugby Canada Invitational Challenge Series after winning eight matches and losing only once to heavyweights, Uruguay.

The Young Sables are on a quest to conquer the continent again when they take part in this year’s Barthes Trophy which is serving as a qualifier for the Junior World Trophy where the top eight nations in the world will meet.

Before their departure on Thursday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa congratulated the team for raising the country’s flag.

“I would like to congratulate you for your success, this initiative and achievement play a pivotal role as we continue our journey to re-position and refocus our delivery system which is a critical part towards an excelling sporting nation,” noted President Mnangagwa.

“I am reliably informed that the Junior Sables are the only No1 Ranked U20 Team in Zimbabwe and are about to leave for Kenya for the 2023 Barthes Afrique Trophy, which is also a world qualifier tournament.”

“Your strife and drive as a team is in line with the achievements of the set sectorial target of improved performance as spelt out in the National Development Strategy 1 for Youth, Sport and Culture,” he added.

He went further to pledge financial support to the team and the sports sector.

“As you embark on your journey to qualify for the World Cup, I would like to urge you to remain focused and shun away from drug and substance abuse,” said the President.

He went on, “As Youth in Sport I urge you to enhance and embrace the mantra of “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo , ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo.”

“I would like to once again reiterate and appreciate the role that the sports sector plays in image building.”

“Your interaction as the Under 20 rugby team with the outside world automatically makes you brand ambassadors of Zimbabwe, we will support you financially and avail more funding for the sports sector,” he asserted.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union highlighted the strides the sport has made since independence.

Zimbabwe Rugby Union President Aaron Jani noted, “The team was diverse players from all over the country were represented, they surprised us with their level of commitment and determination to make their country proud.”

“The U20 team had 5 players called up into the National Sales Team and 1 into the Sevens Cheetahs team.”

“Our ambition and drive as a team is aligned towards the achievements of the set sectorial targets of improved performance and Nation Building as set out in the National development strategy of Youth, Sport and Culture,” he reiterated.

“Our aim is to Leave no One Behind, to increase participation and inclusivity within the game, as we strive towards vision 2030,” he further stated.

The Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri was also present alongside Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Honourable Tino Machakaire and other senior officials.

The Young Sables are expected to leave for Kenya this Saturday to participate in the 2023 Barthes Trophy.

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