Paul Munyuki Sports Reporter
KYROS Sports director and founder Kudakwashe “Kisset” Chirengende says his decision to bring Super Rugby sides to play in Zimbabwe was not driven by money but his passion to inspire the junior players. Chirengende is the brains behind the coming of Vodacom Blue Bulls, who arrived in Zimbabwe last Friday and the Toyota Cheetahs, who are expected in three days’ time.
The two giants clash in the Lafarge Zimbabwe Champions Cup at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Chirengende represented Zimbabwe at junior level playing in an Under-21 side that included the likes of former Springbok prop Brian Mujati, the trio of Cleopas Makotose, Gardner Nechironga and Jacque Leitao (who all went on to play for both the Sables and the Cheetahs), Bernard Revell and Shephard Zvazanewako.
While he is in business through his company Kyros Sports Management, Chirengende does not believe that everything he does should be done for the sake of getting a profit but rather for the development of the game.
“We are not going to make a lot of money from the game but at the same time, given our line of work, it is not always about making money. “Anyone who knows our body of work knows that we are driven by the passion to see the game develop in Zimbabwe.
“Our passion is to have something sustainable and as Kyros Sports, we are aiming to make this an annual event, to have Super Rugby teams playing in Zimbabwe every year,” said Chirengende.
It was after noticing that the National Football League’s strategy of spreading the game to Europe was working as the teams would fly to different European countries for games that Chirengende felt the concept would work for Africa as well.
The NFL saw a business opportunity that raises the ceiling for the league’s growth beyond what can happen in the United States and though of expansion to Germany and England.
“That is the same concept that I copied to use for the development of our rugby here in Zimbabwe.
“There has been lot of work, a lot of people and a lot of dedication was put in for this dream to be a reality.
“It is something that I thought of last April and I put it in writing and it was in December that the two franchises (Bulls and Cheetahs) signed the deal, something I hope is the beginning of a long relationship with the South African sides.
“I wanted the Bulls to come to Zimbabwe because they are one of the most successful franchises in the Super Rugby, having won three titles and are only second to the Crusaders, and this speaks volumes of the quality of rugby that has graced our country.
“They have a lot of experience, they have a number of Springboks and Blitzbokke players in their ranks and combine that with the coaching clinics they are going to conduct in Harare then I am sure we can be able to motivate some young players.
“The Cheetahs are also an exciting side, they have a lot of young players in their ranks and they are an up-and-coming side and on Saturday we really are looking forward to a good crowd at the Stadium,” he added.