NATIONAL team players have become the first batch of beneficiaries of the €5 000 awarded to the Zimbabwe Rugby Union by Rugby Africa.
The ZRU received the Covid-19 relief fund from the continental mother body about three weeks ago.
And the association have bought food hampers, which they are distributing to 100 national team players who have featured for the Sables, the national women’s side, the Cheetahs and Lady Cheetahs.
ZRU chief executive, Sifiso Made, said the players were still in the process of collecting their hampers.
“It’s been difficult for us as a union. We would like to thank Rugby Africa for the bailout package,’’ he said.
“We have 100 players, who have been representing the national teams, and they are the first batch of beneficiaries from the package.
“Over 50 players have since collected their hampers from the collection centre.
“As ZRU, we are committed to addressing our players’ plight.”
Made said local referees, who have been representing the country in international tournaments, will also have a piece of the cake.
“It’s all about easing pressure on each and every stakeholder,’’ he said. “We will also make sure that the junior teams and the men’s A team get something as well.
“The clubs should also get a piece each.”
Made revealed the rugby season has been scratched.
Rugby is one of the sports that was classified as high risk by the Sports and Recreation Commission.
“We have decided to call off all rugby activities this year. We had applied to the SRC but, still, there are so many risk factors to consider,’’ said Made.
“The national teams, national league, both male and female, junior league and schools league will only return next year.
“At the moment, we are in the process of conducting research on how best we can return next year.
“At the end of the day, what is more important is the health of everyone involved in the game. So, in terms of action, we are resting but, administratively, we are working around the clock for the good of the game.”
Coaching and refereeing coaches have also been affected since they involve practicals although the theoretical part of it, will be conducted online, starting end of this month.