RED Arrows and Green Eagles players Edward Mumba and Cecilia Chitengi were at the weekend crowned 2012 Buildcon Zambia Rugby Football Union (ZRFU) Player-of-the-Year in the men and women categories respectively.
And Times of Zambia scooped the Best Print Media category with Sports Assistant Editor, Elias Chipepo, winning the Journalist-of-the-Year award during a colourful ceremony held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) on Saturday night.
The award for the Coach-of-the-Year went to Billy Sinyangwe of Prisons, who won his side promotion to the A Division league.
Sinyangwe beat veteran coach Innocent Sakala of Green Eagles and Humphrey Chisulo from Kansanshi rugby club of Solwezi.
'Men At Work' Diggers got the Team-of-the-Year Award following their dominance last season when they won eight of the 10 titles that were on offer, while club chairman Chileshe Bweupe, who is also Kitwe Mayor was voted Administrator-of-the-Year.
Diggers were also given K50 million (KR50,000) prize money for winning the league with Prisons pocketing K30 million (KR30,000) for winning the B Division.
McGiven Muchindu from 'Powerhouse' Lusaka was voted the league's Most Disciplined Player in the men's category with Barbara Mumbi of Green Eagles getting the women's accolade.
The Referee-of-the-Year award went to Hein Havenga.
Evergreen Lusaka veteran player, Musonda Kaminsa, who is also Zambia Sevens coach, won the Most Valuable Player award as Prisons Rugby Club was voted the Most Improved Team with Chengelo School scooping the School-of-the-Year award.
Radio Icengelo, a Copperbelt-based community radio station, won the Best Electronic Media award as the ZRFU President's award went to Buildcon Investment, the league sponsors, while Winelo Sichamba was voted as the best fan of-the-year.
Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili was presented with a special ZRFU award for the immense support rendered to rugby.
And speaking earlier, Kambwili said Government would endeavour to provide financial support to ZRFU so that it fulfilled its programmes especially that the union has in the past showed positive strides towards developing the sport.
Kambwili said this in a speech read for him by Director of Sports, Bernard Nakacinda that rugby has over the last few years continued to show marked improvement and that it was Government's belief that the level of development could continue with the commitment from all the stakeholders.
"The decision by Buildcon Investments to sponsor both the Division One and Two leagues was an achievement worth noting and an achievement that was expected to elevate Zambian Rugby to a whole new level," he said.
ZRFU president Martin Musunka described the year 2012 as a success, saying the union was able to fulfil all the programmes that were lined up despite facing some serious challenges.
The ceremony was attended among others by past ZRFU presidents Raj Karamchand, Clement Sinkamba and Peter Manda, Bwacha member of Parliament Bonnie Mutale, who is also Diggers Rugby Club president, Sports Council of Zambia board members, club officials and players.