Hippo Valley Estates this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chiredzi community in which they donated all the football kits that were used by Hippo Valley Football Club last season to Chiredzi Football Club.
The company also donated the Hippo Valley franchise to Chiredzi FC, now a community team. The new team was allowed to use Chishamiso Stadium, the former team’s home ground while the company undertook to continue maintaining the venue.
Speaking on behalf of the company, Tongaat Hullet human resources director, Fred Nyangwe said the company was determined to further its social responsibility to the Chiredzi community, which is why they could not dispose the franchise to any other organisation outside Chiredzi, let alone to sell the franchise to the new owners.
“After realising that we cannot sponsor two teams Triangle and Hippo Valley in the top flight league, we have decided not to disappoint the soccer-loving fans of Chiredzi by selling the franchise and thus we donated this franchise to Chiredzi FC.
“We are here today to sign a MOU with the new owners who are here represented by their chairman and secretary. Let it be clear that we are donating this franchise to the new owners for free and we are also donating everything else that was used by Hippo Valley FC to the new club. This signing of the MOU is to cement our commitment to social responsibility and trust to the community and by this signing, Chiredzi FC is now a bona fide team,” Nyangwe said.
He said all the football kits belonging to the defunct Hippo Valley was part of the donation. However, the new team would not be allowed to use company logos and emblems during their soccer matches although they may use them during training sessions.
Chiredzi FC chairman Charles Muchatukwa expressed gratitude to Hippo Valley for the good gesture and the signing of the MOU, saying it was a step ahead in spearheading mobilisation of resources.
“We are very grateful to Hippo Valley for donating the franchise to us. This was the sticking point as most of our sponsors were not sure of where we were coming from and where we were going. ”