Ghana Rugby has organised a Rugby Festival on 24 October 2015 at the Accra Sports Stadium that is the first of its kind in the history of Ghana Rugby.
The Accra Festival will include a Men 7s tournament between Championship League clubs, a Women 7s match as well as a Boys 7s match.
The Festival will conclude on a high note with an international friendly Men 15s match between Ghana and Togo.
According to the President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), Mr Herbert Mensah, the Accra Festival is indeed a historic occasion that will grow from strength to strength in the years to come.
“Ghana Rugby is in a rebuilding phase and it is events such as the Accra Festival that will give momentum to the rebuilding process. Never before has a tournament that includes Men 7s, Women 7s, Boys 7s and an international match been held before,” he said.
The festival will kick off at 9am with a Men 7s tournament between Championship League clubs that will include teams such as Griffons from Cape Coast, Cosmos Buffaloes, Idas, Dansoman Hurricanes, Legon Titans, Accra Sharks and Tema Anchors.
This will be followed by a Women 7s match and a Boys 7s match.
The day will conclude with an international friendly Men 15s match between Ghana and Togo that is scheduled for 2pm.
“In discussions between myself and the President of the Togo Rugby Federation, Mr. Modeste Akassan, we came to the conclusion that it is essential for Rugby development in the region that regional Rugby Unions work much closer together to promote and develop Rugby. The friendly international on Saturday is a first small step towards achieving that objective and I hope it will the beginning of much greater things to come,” Mr. Mensah said.
In 2014 /15 Ghana Rugby successfully concluded its first professional Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) where ten teams competed on a home-and-away round robin basis. Cosmos Buffaloes won the championship trophy in an exciting final with Legon Titans.
Earlier this year the Ghana Rugby Union Players Association (GRUPA) organized a successful Men 7s tournament at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The 2015/16 Ghana Rugby Club Championship is scheduled to be played between November 2015 and February 2016.
According to Mr. Mensah grassroots development at schools Rugby has been identified as the highest priority to ensure that Ghana Rugby can compete on international level.
“The top Rugby Unions such as those in Europe, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa all have a well established Rugby development system at schools level that not only serves as feeding source for the clubs, but indeed for the national teams. The results of this can clearly be seen in the 2015 Rugby World Cup currently underway in the UK where New Zealand, Australia and South Africa all proceeded to the semi finals stage,” he said.
To take a first step in the development of Rugby at schools level the GRFU has involved GRUPA to become actively involved in programme.
Recently a rugby orientation programme was organised for schools in the LaDIMA District where 54 sports teachers and 2 district sports coordinators were schooled on the values and mission of Ghana rugby and also took part in basic Rugby skills exercises including Tag Rugby matches.
Mr. Mensah said that a professionally run schools development programme focuses on basic skills development at a young level that includes non-contact rugby such as Tag and Touch Rugby. Contact Rugby is only introduced when the basic skills required are mastered.
“You can’t expect a player that enters the world of Rugby at the age of 23 to possess all these skills and perform on a competitive level. It is like promoting a child from junior schools level to the top of secondary schools level and expecting that child to perform and indeed pass with flying colours. Development of skills must start early and gradually progress to competitive level,” he said.
The Accra Festival on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium has all the elements that will ensure entertainment and exciting watching for spectators and everybody is welcome to attend the event.
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