Rugby body bemoans lack of funding

By ZBC Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) has come under the spotlight for the wrong reasons amid revelations that parents are being asked to provide funding for players representing the country at the junior level.
A leaked letter directed to parents with children selected for the national under 18 sevens rugby team has sparked debate about the logic of requesting parents to provide funding for players representing the country.
In a letter dated 17 January parents of players selected into the Zimbabwe Under 18 team which is set to take part at the Capricorn 7’s international tournament to be held in Windhoek Nambia are asked to fund for airfare, kits and accommodation.
The costs requested from parents amounts to 1 061 United States dollars although the children are set to represent their country.
This has sparked debate about the role of the Zimbabwe Rugby Union which says financial constraints have pushed the rugby governing body into resorting to engaging parents.
“We have a situation where in moments like these we engage parents informing them of costs associated with their children’s travel. We are in a catch 22 situation in which when we fail to secure funding for teams we make the decision of whether to approach parents or cancel the trip altogether. It is however difficult sometimes to cancel because taking part in invitational tournaments enhances our ranking,” said Sifiso Made, the ZRU General Manager
It is not the first time issues of team selection being based on the ability to cater for expenses have arisen.
Parents with children playing tennis have in the past also raised concern over the matter after being asked to fund for trips in which their children are representing the country.