Sponsors still in the Varsity Sports game

06 May 2020 - 10:26
By Sihle Ndebele
Banele Barry Hlophe of NWU and Sandile Mdluli of UWC./Ryan Wilkisky /BackpaGE
Banele Barry Hlophe of NWU and Sandile Mdluli of UWC./Ryan Wilkisky /BackpaGE

Despite officially suspending all their tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic, Varsity Sports manager Xhanti-Lomzi Nesi has confirmed all their sponsors are still on board.

Since all universities in the country are closed, with online learning having been rolled out as a major measure of containing the spread of the deadly Covid-19, Varsity Sports has also decided to halt all their competitions for this year.

Varsity Sports is sponsored by a number of big corporates such as First National Bank (FNB), Debonairs, Steers and Flying Fish, among many others.

"Hundred percent, our sponsors remain with us. We engaged with all the stakeholders before deciding to suspend the games. Everyone is still on board," Nesi told Sowetan yesterday.

"They [sponsors] understand that the tournaments are not cancelled, the tournaments are suspended at the moment.

"We agreed with all of them that the best thing was to prioritise the safety of the students."

However, Nesi couldn't disclose whether their financial backers were still paying them, despite the absence of tournaments in all disciplines.

"It's a tricky question [if the sponsors were still paying] to answer because the games are not cancelled.

"Sponsors can't give you that answer to say 'yes we'll provide you with money'... it's not like that," said Nesi.

"At the moment, they support the decision to suspend the competitions."

Nesi also reasoned that even if universities open in September, they'll not resume immediately, aiming to abide by health measures and government directives to ensure everyone is safe from Covid-19.