Salim 7, one of the squads drawn from Cosmos Buffaloes Rugby Club won the Ghana Rugby Union Players Association (GRUPA) Sevens title after a fiercely contested final against Large Star, a squad from Titans Rugby Club at the Accra Sports Stadium.
3 tries and 3 conversions was what Salim 7 needed as they cruised to 21 points with Large Star trailing with 0 point at the end of proceedings in the finals.
Salim 7 will go into the history books as the first ever winners of the GRUPA 7s Rugby Festival in the unprecedented tournament organized by a player’s union in Africa.
In what looked like a big day for Cosmos Buffalos Rugby Club, their second team named as Buffalos placed third as they scored Zanzibar 21 to 14.
Team Buffalo scored a late 7 points to snatch the needed victory leaving team Zanzibar which was drawn from Dansoman Hurricane Rugby Club to settle for the fourth position
A total of 10 teams from different clubs across the country participated in the festival which brought together several Rugby dignitaries and stakeholders to witness the beauty of the fastest growing sport in the country.
The winners were presented with prizes and other exciting packages from the sponsors of the event.
The Rugby festival was a delight to behold as kids showcased their talent whiles the ladies also displayed rugby at its best. Spectators also enjoyed themselves in a kicking competition and the winners walked away with prizes.
President of GRUPA, Mr. Michael Ako Wilson highlighted in an interview that he was pleased with the success of the programme due to the massive turnout, participation and maturity displayed in all the matches.
“The objective of the festival is to create unity, camaraderie and for players to network.
As you can see we had a lot of people attending the festival, the games were fantastic and were of the highest standards”.
He was grateful to the sponsors and the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) for their support and hinted that GRUPA Sevens Festival will be an annual event with participation from other countries.
Mr. Wilson used the opportunity to appeal to corporate bodies to invest in Ghana Rugby since the major challenge has been funding.
The general captain of the national rugby team also stated that what was witnessed by fans was just the tip of the iceberg and promised of a very exciting competition when the Ghana Rugby Club Championship kicks off on November 7th, 2015.
The General Secretary of GRFU, Mr. Abdul Aziz Issah couldn’t hold back his joy at the achievement of GRUPA in organizing the festival and being the pioneers of such an initiative.
He told the media in an interview that, “We [GRFU] are very proud of GRUPA, its members and what they have accomplished today. It has never happened before and I know other countries will emulate”.
He was impressed with the improvement in the games and was hopeful that Ghana rugby will reach higher heights with more guidance, training programmes for clubs, good facilities and courses to upgrade the coaches.
Mr. Aziz lamented about the lack of funding which has stifled the development of rugby in the country.
He wants all stakeholders and the sports authorities to commit resources to push Ghana rugby to reach higher heights.
“Financing has always been our problem. It is our President, Mr. Herbert Mensah who comes to our aid but it cannot always be so. We need the support of government and the corporate bodies to develop the game”.
International Brands Ghana, importers of T' Best Natural Juice was the official beverage sponsor for the event.
Wish Bone Commodities Limited, producers of Royal Atlantic Tuna were official partners with support from Largestar Batteries.
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