Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side Black Rhinos will look to improve player welfare after they clinched a sponsorship deal with mobile communications company NetOne.

NetOne, which also sponsors giants, Highlanders, Dynamos and Caps United, poured in $80 000 to the army side. The team held a function yesterday to honour and thank the mobile network company for the sponsorship as they look to finish the 2018 season on a strong note.

Major-General Hlanganani Dube, who delivered a speech on behalf of the army, said that they would look to improve equipment and kit while the bigger chunk of the money would be used to pay players.

“I want to acknowledge this sponsorship package of $80 000 that NetOne has extended to Black Rhinos. This sponsorship will go a long way in alleviating both administrative and technical challenges, as $20 000 will be channelled towards purchasing of kits and equipment for the reminder of the season, while $60 000 is meant for civilian players, salaries, wining bonuses and camping allowances,” he said.

“Let me recognise that this package is a clear testimony of the desire by the corporate world in general and NetOne in particular to see the development of sport into self-sustaining activities for our people”, he said.

NetOne chief executive officer Lazarus Muchenje said by sponsoring Black Rhinos, it was a way of paying back to their a major client and his organisation wished to see athletes develop through sports.

“We, as NetOne, fully support the armed forces and sporting activities in general. We understand and have been informed that the armed forces are, indeed, one of the big contributors to sport in Zimbabwe, not only on football, but other sporting disciplines. I am proud to be part of supporting Black Rhinos,” he said.

“When I joined NetOne, I was amazed with the fact that our biggest customers, which are the armed forces, were not being supported. We, as Netone, will always continue supporting Black Rhinos. Our plan is to ensure that we work with Black Rhinos for the next three years. We want to make sure that the team is self-sustainable and basic salaried. At the end, they should be able to pay for themselves.”

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