The Madibaz Athletics Club have received a healthy boost with a three-year sponsorship from medical aid company Bestmed, who will have the naming rights to all NMMU athletics events.
The partnership came out of the starting blocks at the Bestmed Madibaz Top 10 Athletics Meeting for schools in Cradock earlier this month, where NMMU athletes also competed.
Madibaz Sport athletics manager Nellis Bothma said the meeting was the sort of initiative NMMU would be staging in conjunction with the sponsors.
“They have been involved with NMMU over a number of years, but indicated this year they wished to play a role at a higher level,” he said.
“Under the new sponsorship, Bestmed will support the Madibaz Athletics Club financially over the next three years. They will become the naming rights sponsors for the club as well as the track and field events.”
Bestmed marketing and sales executive Chris Luyt said the company had developed a strong relationship with NMMU in the last couple of years.
“In terms of the business element, NMMU have really embraced Bestmed’s philosophy of wellness, tying in with our five pillars of Be Safe, Be Active, Be Nutri-wise, Be Fin-fit and Be Happy,” said Luyt.
“All their staff members have participated in our annual assessments and screenings, and their activity rates have increased.”
He said this had resulted in chronic rates coming down and a decrease in cardiovascular diseases, creating a much healthier staff situation.
“This is a very good business case which illustrates how the wellness element is improving engagement in the work place. That, in turn, is increasing productivity, which boosts profitability.”
He said that thanks to NMMU embracing the challenge, Bestmed had reciprocated with the sponsorship of the athletics club, adding that “this makes sense with regard to the future market”.
Bothma said the medical aid company would also support the George campus’s athletics programme, which includes a street mile series in George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn in December.
He added that the sponsorship would be important in assisting the university’s student-athletes to maintain a high level of competitiveness, while also attracting future talent.
“It provides more opportunities for our athletes and coaches and gives us the chance to market our club better to local athletes.”