WITH football traditionally getting the lion's share of sponsorship to other sport disciplines in Zambia, mining giants, First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has decided to break the monotony by splashing well more than K500 million to minor sports in the country this year.
FQM country manager, Kingsley Chinkuli said Zambia's success at the just-ended Zone Six Youth Games proved that with just a little bit more support, Zambian sports men and women had the potential to reap top honours on the international stage.
Some of the beneficiaries from FQM's sports policy are sponsorship-starved disciplines such as tennis, scrabble and rugby with the money in excess of K500 million going to prop them up.
"FQM's support of other sporting disciplines will act as a huge catalyst for the nation to gun for medals at major sporting events such as the Olympic Games.
"Our sponsorship of low-profile sports is another vivid example of FQM's deep-seated practice of maximising benefits and opportunities in communities where the mining company operates," Chinkuli said.
FQM is also one of the biggest sponsors to football in the country.
Among the biggest recipients of the mining money were rugby and golf.
Chinkuli said hundreds of millions of Kwacha in sponsorship this year went to rugby with the latest being players kit worth K45 million bought by Kansanshi Mine for the national rugby team.
He said FQM's other disbursements went to support ladies golf and a fundraising tournament for the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation.
"The successful hosting the Zambia Open Tennis Championship after an absence of two decades was largely credited to FQM's Kansanshi Mine K20 million cash injection in the tournament. Additionally, Africa Scrabble Championship debuted in Zambia aided by K52 million sponsorship package from us," he said.