Ba Rugby Grateful to Vinod Patel, Eagerly Await 2024 Skipper Cup Outing

Ba Rugby is looking forward to their participation in Fiji’s local premier provincial rugby competition, the Skipper Cup, their first in 26 years thanks to a three-year sponsorship deal signed with Vinod Patel today.

The deal not only earns Vinod Patel the naming rights to the Ba Men’s 15s team, who will be known as Vinod Patel Ba – for the duration of the partnership – but it also addresses financial constraints faced by the union.

Regarded one of the minnows in the local provincial rugby scene, funding is hard to come by so much so that coach and former Flying Fijians Viliamoni Delasau who himself is from the province was touched by the gesture – the union’s largest ever sponsorship deal.

“It means that Ba Rugby will be able to help the players with their travel costs – which is a big barrier for those coming down from the highlands,” Delasau said. “We will also be able to kit the team out properly, and purchase much-needed training equipment.” 

“This is such a proud moment for Ba Rugby and for me personally. As a kid growing up in Ba in the 1970s and ‘80s, I used to visit the Vinod Patel shop. Ba Rugby and Vinod Patel have been with me all my life, so to receive this backing from such a respected organisation … it’s like all the planets are aligned.”

Delasau’s 35-man squad have been training together at Vinod Patel Park in Ba since December in preparation for their opening match against Suva on 24 February.

For Vinod Patel the signing means “much more than branding and marketing.”

CEO Rahul Amin said: “Our humble beginnings began in 1962 when our late visionary Founder Mr Vinod Chandra Patel, set up a small hardware shop in Ba. Our story is built on vision, excellence and hard work. We are indeed proud to back another Team from our hometown that has the right disciplines, a pursuit for excellence and a Vision for greatness.

“Equally important is that we believe in the power of sports to unite people and change lives. We want to invest in Ba Rugby as a way to empower the people of Ba, especially in the remote and rural areas and particularly the youths.”

“Our late Chairman Vinodbhai, an avid sports enthusiast always spoke of sports as a catalyst for discipline and hard work, especially for youths who are the future of the nation. We saw in 2023 how a strong and well-organised Ba Rugby Union could change mindsets and give young people hope and opportunity. This partnership is a tribute to our late Founder.”

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