Rugby is the second biggest sport in the world. The 2016 World Rugby Year in Review reported 8.5 million players, of which 3.2 million were registered union players and 1.9 million were registered club players. Female players represented 22% of all participants.
Ghana is one of the countries under the Rugby Federation Union (RFU) and ahead of making Ghana the best in Africa and one of the best in the world in terms of Rugby, the hierarchy of Ghana Rugby undertook Women Rugby to ensure a Women Rugby Club championship is instituted and also get team for the Olympics and World Rugby Festivals.
The maiden edition of the Women Rugby which saw four teams partook in a Sevens Female Rugby Festival was held in Cape Coast at the Robert Mensah Stadium over the weekend. There were two teams each from the two Ghana Rugby Regional Associations, the GARA and the CentWest.
The teams were Griffons Empire and Dennis Foundation (CentWest) and Cosmos Buffalos and Conquerors (GARA) who thrilled fans at the stadium with excellent performances.
Ghana Rugby’s president, Herbert Mensah who was the guest at the event said;
“Women’s Rugby is one of the pivots of the GRFU Strategic Plan and has been a high priority of the President of Ghana Rugby”.
“Women’s Rugby is one of the fastest growing segments of Rugby globally and in Ghana, we have encountered great enthusiasm from the girls at schools level through our Get Into Rugby youth development programme”, he added.
In terms of making Ghana Rugby the best, financial constraints according to Herbert Mensah is hindering their progress and he was quick to add that; “As with all our development efforts, the major challenge remains to get corporate Ghana interested to sponsor women’s Rugby in Ghana”.
“Looking at the passion of both the girls and women I am convinced that Ghana has all the potential to become a major force on both the African and eventually the world circuit of Women’s Rugby. A sponsor who can commit now to this development will definitely bear the fruits of goodwill and brand exposure in the future”, the president indicated.
When asked what the biggest challenge of Women’s Rugby on the continent is, the former Asante Kotoko CEO indicated;
“Ghana Rugby has initiated friendly internationals in the region in 2016 and we have every time invited the participants to bring a women’s sevens team as part of the event. To date not one of the guest teams who was invited could succeed in raising such a team”.
The Women’s Rugby World Cup will come off in Ireland starting 9th August, 2017.