Ghana Rugby Extends Grassroots Development Programme To LaDMA District

The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) on the 13th of October 2015 embarked on a sensitization program to train sports teachers and introduce the game of rugby, specifically Tag Rugby, into primary and junior high schools in the La Dadekotopon Municipal Authority (LaDMA) District. 

The objective of the program was to enlighten the teachers coming from the various schools on the values, benefits and basic rules of the game of Rugby. The program which took place at the Tenashie Cluster of Schools was hosted by the coordinator of sports for the LaDMA District under the auspices of the Ghana Education Services (GES).

The event was attended by 52 sports teachers (45 men and 7 women) and 2 district sports coordinators.

Members of the Ghana Rugby Players Association (GRUPA), Marshall Nortey, Jason Dzata and Philip Asomani, conducted the programme and  took the participants through the values of Rugby.

These values include the following:

INTEGRITY - Integrity (adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty) is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play

PASSION - Rugby people have a passionate (powerful or compelling emotion or feeling) enthusiasm for the Game. Rugby generates excitement, emotional attachment and a sense of belonging to the global Rugby family

TEAMWORK - The only way to succeed is by working together (coordinated effort acting together in the interests of a common cause - Rugby)

DISCIPLINE - Discipline (training to act in accordance with rules) is an integral part of the Game, both on and off the field, and is reflected through adherence to the Laws, the Regulations and Rugby’s core values

RESPECT - Respect (being esteemed or honored) for teammates, opponents, match officials and those involved in the Game is paramount

This was followed by schooling in basic Rugby skills and rules followed by Tag Rugby sessions where participants were divided into various groups to play against each other.

Tag Rugby is a non-contact form of Rugby where each player has a belt with a tag in front and one on his back. To “tackle” a player, opponents should take one of his tags. The tackler then puts his hand up with the taken tag and shout “tackle” to signal a tackle.

Immediately after being tackled, the player has to pass the ball. After passing the ball, the tackled player takes its tag back and puts it on his belt. The tackler must give it back before starting to play again.

The participants were sent back to the classroom where they were given the chance to ask questions and get enough clarifications on issues pertaining to Rugby.

At the end of the session contact details of the GRFU were provided with most of the participants having already booked sessions with GRFU for the introduction of Rugby at their various schools.

This training followed on similar programmes already ongoing at Ghana International School (GIS) and St. Thomas Aquinas SHS.

The President of the GRFU, Mr. Herbert Mensah, commented on the programme by saying that grassroots development at schools level was identified as one of the top priorities by the GRFU and said that he was delighted at the LaDMA programme.

“You will find that all the top Rugby nations have a very well established grassroots or schools development system that not only serves as source of players for clubs, but eventually as source for the national teams,” he said.

Mr. Mensah also said that Ghana Rugby is rebuilding the Game in Ghana from almost scratch despite the fact that it faces a major development dilemma.

“Developed Rugby nations have various substantial sources including government support, development support from the world governing body World Rugby, broadcasting rights, major corporate sponsorships and gate proceeds to mention but a few. Developing countries such as Ghana are expected to develop the Game but have none or very little of the above resources at its disposal,” Mr. Mensah said.

He continued to invite corporate Ghana to embrace the development programme at schools level to not only make a valuable investment in youth development but indeed to create lasting goodwill for their brands.

“The values of Rugby not only serves to improve the performance levels of students at school but indeed help them to become top performers in life after school. It also helps to build character as well as fitness and fosters a set of core values which will benefit its participants for life. Rugby further creates a sense of sense of self-worth and belonging that that are invaluable,” Mr. Mensah said.