By Trevor Makonyonga
South African giants, Golden Lions Rugby Union has partnered with Athletes Sphere Management to form a Lions Rugby Academy in Zimbabwe.
This is part of its grassroots development programs of Golden Lions Rugby Union.
President and CEO of Athletes Sphere Management, Gerald Sibanda said, “I am very happy and looking forward to seeing the development of Zimbabwe Rugby through this landmark association with one of the biggest Rugby Unions in World Rugby, the Golden Lions Rugby Union, South Africa and the Springboks are the current World Champions, and it’s a great Honour to have the Golden Lions Rugby Union commit to empowering Zimbabwe as a nation and growing the game of Rugby in this region. It is our core value and Mandate in Athletes Sphere, to bring World Class community opportunities to our beautiful Zimbabwe. I look forward to seeing this Association bring more success to the great relations between the Republics of Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
President of the Golden Lions Rugby Union, Neville Jardine praised ASM adding that his organisation always wanted an academy in Zimbabwe.
He said, “It has always been our intention to grow the footprint of Lions Rugby in the region and with the formation of the Lions Rugby Academy in Zimbabwe, it will bring our aspirations much closer. Being associated with a credible partner such as Athletes Sphere Management made immediate business sense for us at the GLRU, and we are proud to have them as a partner. Athletes Sphere Management have already been entrusted as international academy partners of Real Betis Balompie, the football giants who play in La Liga, Spain, a 300 million+ Euro brand. The opportunities are vast as we embark on a journey to grow Rugby and undertake various projects in the region jointly”.
It is the desire of the two allied entities that the academy will sufficiently upskill, provide experience, and create development pathways, for players, coaches and administrators which will enable them to transition seamlessly to professional and international level.