Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, was nominated today by the Board of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) for the position of President of the World Rugby continental body, Rugby Africa.
Rugby Africa will be electing a new EXCO at an Annual General Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on 2 March 2019.
Herbert Mensah spoke about the nomination and about Rugby in Africa after the nomination was submitted.
Mr Mensah’s nomination was accompanied by the following background sketch.
As you are aware Herbert and his administration took over the rein at Ghana Rugby in June of 2014and in fewer than four years steered the Union that was sitting with “nothing” after 11 years since its establishment in 2003 to achieve some remarkable feats:
Introduced a professional online and decentralised Rugby Management System, scrumIT, that has revolutionised the administrative running of rugby in Ghana,
Introduced an online financial accounting system and can boast of the ONLY sports Association that have produced Audited financial statements since 2015,
Established the first-ever ten teams domestic league and since 2018 incorporated both a men’s and women’s section to the annual Ghana Rugby Club Championship,
Resuscitated Women in Rugby in Ghana and built a team that will take part in this year’s Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Cup as well as in the yet to be announced Women’s Fifteens Tournament,
Introduced youth development on the basis of the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” Programme that has seen more than 5,000 new participants introduced to the Game of Rugby Union with a target of 10,000 for 2019,
Successfully not only hosted but won two Rugby Africa Men’s Fifteens Tournaments, the 2017 Regional Challenge and the 2018 Bronze Cup,
Through persistence got Ghana Rugby into the Rugby Africa Men’s Fifteens tournament in 2017 and will again compete for Olympic qualification in 2019,
Herbert was also elected to the Board of the Ghana Rugby Olympic Committee because of his achievements with Ghana Rugby but also because he is deemed to be the person who revolutionised sports administration in Ghana during his tenure as Chairman of the famous Kumasi Assante Koto FC when he was appointed by the King of the Asantes.
Herbert is a Rugby man at heart and in his rugby days played county rugby in Sussex and also represented Saracens in the UK. He also played rugby in Zimbabwe where he scored a try against a visiting Italian side.
Herbert is also well known as the person who hosted the 1996 Max Brito Extravaganza in Accra to raise funds for the Ivorian player who got paralysed in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. This was also recorded for prosperity by World Rugby in the documentary, “The Last Amateur Tour | World Rugby Films” – https://youtu.be/QmyGQ1x1yQc
His achievements were also acknowledged by World Rugby in the documentary titled “Ghana Rugby’s rapid growth” – https://youtu.be/Fz_v2BPTPvw
Herbert’s nomination is based on his vision to introduce Ghana Rugby to a new era where the most important stakeholders, our Rugby Players, will benefit from increased participation, better facilities for Unions and Federations and better support from its governing bodies.
As his second priority, he will restore the integrity of the Association, Rugby Africa, so that it is truly an Association run by its Members, the Unions and Federations, for its Members.
His biggest mission will be to resolve the most important strategic stumbling block, namely sustainable funding, to ensure that the situation that Rugby Africa finds itself in does not continue into the future.
In his words, “It will definitely not be business as usual…”