The Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) says it has engaged various partnerships meant to promote the sport so that it attains the deserved recognition when good results are posted by its teams.
The Gilbert Nyamutsamba coached outfit defied all odds and fought their way to be crowned the 2018 Africa Cup Sevens Rugby champions when they beat Kenya 17 – 5 in Tunisia.
This feat was achieved with the Cheetahs only having three days to prepare for the tournament that had giants like Kenya and defending champions Uganda as favourites.
This was compounded by the unavailability of some of the side’s best talent in Rian O’Neal, Shayne Makombe, Boyd Rouse and Hilton Mudariki.
Despite the several setbacks, the Cheetahs came out blazing to raise the country’s flag with distinction.
ZRU vice president, Martin Shone, however, believes more recognition could be given to the side for being proud ambassadors for the country as has been the case with other high achievers.
“It’s an issue that the whole country needs to deal with. The 7s qualified for the World Cup but there was no recognition or anything. Now they have not only qualified to play in the HSBC tournaments that will be coming up but they have won the Africa Cup and ordinarily you would expect everyone to come on board and celebrate with the guys,” he said.
With more effort being put towards promoting the sport in the country, the side will now focus on upcoming events such as the Dubai 7s, Cape Town 7s, Victoria Falls 7s and the Hong Kong 7s.
On the local front, 27 October has been set aside for a 13 team tournament that will also feature a Botswana side in Gweru before other events in Mutare and Harare take place.