The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) is in full flight towards the 2018 Rugby Africa Bronze Cup where the Eagles will engage Lesotho, Mauritius and Rwanda in Cape Coast-Ghana on Wednesday, May 9 and Saturday, May 12,
The tournament forms part of Rugby Africa’s men’s 15s Rugby tournaments with the winner of the Bronze Cup automatically progressing to the Silver Cup and, on winning that, progressing to the Gold Cup that will also serve as qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup.
According to the President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, Mr. Herbert Mensah, the objective of the team is to eventually reach the high-profile international tournaments.
“The Rugby Africa Bronze Cup is a national event and we, Ghana Rugby, has the responsibility to represent Ghana and fly its flag high as a very first priority. The next priority is to win the Bronze Cup in pursuit of our vision to take the Ghana national teams, the Ghana Eagles, to global tournaments such as the various Rugby World Cups, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics,” Mensah said.
Technical preparations for the important encounter in Cape Coast were boosted with the arrival of South African coach, Ludwiche van Deventer, for the second of three stints on Saturday, March 31, 2018.
Mensah also said, “Ghana Rugby, like many sports associations and federations globally, is under extreme financial pressure to fund all it needs to do. The pro-bono support by Coach Van Deventer is therefore highly appreciated and we believe and hope that this sacrifice by him will lead to greater things in future for both him and Ghana Rugby.”
According to Mensah, the association with Coach Van Deventer started in 2017 with Mission Kampala when the Ghana Eagles took part in the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens tournament for the first time.
He also expressed his appreciation to the newly-elected President of the Blue Bulls in South Africa, Mr. Willem Strauss, for having facilitated the relationship and who is indeed the sponsor of this contribution.
There has also been an escalation in the announcement of various fundraising projects embarked on by Ghana Rugby.
“Hosting an international sports event of this nature on a global standard takes a lot of preparation and indeed a lot of money on top of the grant by governing body, Rugby Africa. We are very appreciative of contributions by various parties at this stage including the Panafrican Group, Golden Tulip Accra, the Blue Bulls, various top-class restaurants and others,” Mensah said.
According to the Ghana Rugby President, the search for funds and new sponsors was like looking for a needle in a haystack, but that the Union will be announcing some exciting additions to its list of “Friends of Ghana Rugby” before the Bronze Cup kicks off.
In addition to mainstream sponsorships, Ghana Rugby also embarked on a range of initiatives to boost the empty coffers of the Union.
The fundraising initiatives included crowdsourcing campaigns on two platforms (youcaring and payPutt), a Bronze Cup Pledge & Challenge campaign aimed at individuals and Clubs, the selling of a limited number of Ghana Eagles replica jerseys and competitions to win items.
According to the commercial arm of Ghana Rugby, these initiatives never produce fireworks but that it serves as a means to keep the Rugby Family engaged and to give them an opportunity to enjoy the great feeling of making some sort of contribution without expecting anything in return.
To acknowledge the contributions especially by individuals Ghana Rugby is also issuing certificates of “Friendship”.
Mensah also reached out to other stakeholders including the government and corporate bodies to join hands with Ghana Rugby in this opportunity to make Ghanaians proud and to further position Ghana as the destination to “do business with”.