Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe was the platinum sponsor of the just ended two-day Hockey 5’s tournament in which 16 boys’ and girls’ schools from in and around Harare participated last week.
The Hockey 5’s tournament, which ended on Friday, resumed with a bang this year after a three-year COVID 19 -induced break.
Hosted by St George’s College, the five-aside Hockey festival commonly referred to as Hockey 5’s, is the main hockey event before the season kicks off. This format of Hockey is recognized and played internationally.
St George’s Head of Hockey, Denford Kumundati said the 5’s Festival resumed in a big way thanks to the Stanbic Bank sponsorship of perimeter rebound boards which enabled the number of teams to rise from 12 in 2019 to 40 this year.
Kumundati said the sponsorship of the rebound boards by Stanbic Bank enabled the tournament to be played on four fields instead of two thereby ensuring that the number of teams and schools increased.
One of the key components of Hockey 5’s is the ability for the ball to rebound from the perimeter boards enclosing the court, so that it remains in play and is regarded as a sixth player for either team to use.
“The rebound boards are a prerequisite for the 5’s tournament and in terms of the budget line they were the main items, so we are grateful to Stanbic Bank for supporting us on that front. The gesture by Stanbic to supply the white boards also ensured that the costs of thetournament were reduced and this enabled more teams to participate,” said Kumundati.
He said ordinarily, the costs of the rebound boards would have been passed on to the participating teams, a scenario which would have discouraged a number of schools fromtaking part.
Kumundati said the 5’s tournament is important as it is a platform for many schools and teams to get match fitness ahead of the grueling hockey season.
“This is the best pre-season tournament which allows players to get match fit as it comes hard on the heels of the just ended Cricket and Athletics season. The players get to sharpen their skills and get in shape for the upcoming season,” said Kumundati.
Stanbic Bank Head, Brand and Marketing, Palmer Mugavha, said the leading financial services institution’s support follows the relationship it enjoys with Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ).
The Standard Bank Group subsidiary has developed a partnership with HAZ through which it has been the main sponsor of key national Hockey events.
“Over the past three years Stanbic Bank has sponsored the U21 boys and girls teams during their participation in local and continental events courtesy of our relationship with HAZ. We felt that it was important to escalate our support of Hockey to the grassroots hence we have now moved to supporting the sport at High school level,” said Mugavha.
He said Stanbic Bank’s passion for supporting sport has also seen it bankroll national tennis events and the country’s grassroots Cricket event, Stragglers.
Participating schools at the 5’s tournament included Allan Wilson, Churchill, Convent, Eaglesvale, Hellenic Academy, Lomagundi, Kutama College, Prince Edward, Sodbury, St George’s College, St John’s College, St John’s Emerald Hill, Tynwald, Watershed, Westridge and Wise Owl.
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