Ghana Rugby concluded two World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) Courses held in Accra and Cape Coast Ghana on 20 and 21 November 2019 respectively.
The “Get Into Rugby” Programme is an introduction programme developed by World Rugby to support its members in growing the Game of Rugby Union globally.
The GIR Programme consists of two Phases, Try and Play, with each having four modules that progressively introduces the rules, laws and skills that players need to master in order to progress to the Stay Phase of rugby.
Ghana Rugby decided to take part in the GIR Programme after considering various options for its youth development programmes.
The President of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, has on numerous occasions stated that the Unions’s job is really to build character in Ghana by introducing the Game of Rugby Union to Ghana’s youth.
“Underpinning the game we love is a set of values that are timeless and that, once acquired, can serve the person holding them throughout his or her life. Some of these values are discipline, respect, solidarity, integrity and passion.” Mensah said.
According to Mensah Ghana has no rugby culture and the Game has not even been officially endorsed as sports option for all schools by the Ghana Education Services.
Despite this hurdle, Ghana Rugby has managed to get the buy-in from various schools in Greater Accra and CentWest and has grown its GIR participation base substantially year after year since inception in 2015.
Mensah also said the programme has not even touched one per cent of its potential in Ghana and to roll it out properly will require substantial resources of trained Development Officers, rugby kit and money.
“We welcome the contributions made by Societe Generale Ghana and World Rugby but it will require an enormous lot more if we are to reach out to all Regions in Ghana,” Mensah said.
The training included both Development Officers from Clubs and teachers from schools. The inclusion of teachers is a first for Ghana and according to Rafatu Inusah, Zonal GIR Coordinator for Greater Accra, this step will hopefully have a ripple effect in the school environment.
The courses coincide with the first-ever Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) match in its new format that will be played in Elmina-Ghana at 11 am on the Nduom Sports Stadium.
The World Rugby Trainer conducting the GIR Courses, Mr Charles Yapo, will also act as Match Commissioner for the crucial elimination match between the Ghana Eagles and the Botswana Vultures.
The team that wins the RAC encounter will proceed to the pool stage of the RAC and will face Zimbabwe and Tunisia in Pool D towards the middle of 2020.