MARANGE Resources (Pvt) Ltd has unveiled an estimated US$3 million sponsorship package for women's soccer.
The launch, which was witnessed by President Mugabe who is the chief patron of the Mighty Warriors last night, will see the mining giant funding the national league, the Under 20 national team and the Mighty Warriors.
The Under 20 team meets Mozambique in a World Cup qualifier at Rufaro tomorrow.
Marange Resources and the Zimbabwe Women Soccer League unveil the national teams' full kit comprising travelling attire, tracksuits, training kits, home and away playing strips.
Marange Resources will take care of the teams' travelling and home match expenses.
The sponsorship, a first of its kind in Zimbabwean soccer, is in the same breath with the sponsorship enjoyed by South African national teams. The teams are bankrolled by such companies as Castle and Sasol for Bafana Bafana and Banyana respectively and ABSA for their premier league.
The sponsorship for the national league includes kits, travel expenses, accommodation and referees fees.
The sponsors are yet to announce the package for the league although it is believed to be close to US$1 million.
President Mugabe said the package should spur the Mighty Warriors to greater heights.
He challenged the senior men's team to draw inspiration from Chipolopolo.
"The victory by Chipolopolo was our joy, it was our joy as Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa. It is still our joy that the trophy is now in our region. We hope this victory by Chipolopolo will push our women's team to emulate the Zambian team."
"The Zambians did it for their country, they did it for Southern Africa and we hope our Mighty Warriors will also do it for us," he said.
Marange Resources chief executive Obert Moyo said they decided to partner women's football as part of their social responsibility.
"As part of our corporate social responsibility, we have decided to sponsor the Mighty Warriors, the Under-20 team, women's national league, cricket which has returned to Test cricket and a golf tournament as well as two other sporting disciplines which we are yet to identify.
"There was no need to sponsor starting from the top where there is nothing to feed, so we decided to sponsor the Under-20 national team and the national league so that they feed to the national team.
"We were impressed by their results in the last two years and we hope our assistance will help them," said Moyo.
Women's soccer league boss Mavis Gumbo said they will jealously guard the sponsorship and be the jewel in the crown for Zimbabwean football.
BY GRACE CHINGOMA AND SYDNEY KAWADZA