Ghana Rugby has been scraping together support, sometimes dollar by dollar, to develop the sport, and it’s starting to pay off.
Ghana’s national team won the recent 2018 Rugby Africa Bronze Cup by defeating Mauritius 23 to 17, and in doing so qualified for next year’s Silver Cup.
Not bad for a rugby union that only became a full member of the World Rugby Council in May 2017. Also last year, Ghana Rugby won the Africa Regional Challenge and promotion to the Bronze Cup.
In the Silver Cup, Ghana will face the likes of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Algeria, and Botswana, which means a serious step up in the quality of competition.
Ghana hosted the Bronze Cup in March, which meant fundraising on top of team training. Besides corporate sponsors, people were encouraged to send as little as 5 Ghana cedis _ the equivalent of about $1 USD.
Even players made public pleas for donations in the Bronze Cup buildup. In one video, Jason Dzata urged businesses and fans to chip in: “We want to be able to go there and make Ghana proud.”
The six best African national teams, excluding South Africa, play in the Gold Cup, which is the gateway to the Rugby World Cup. South Africa, one of the best teams in the world, already qualified for the World Cup and doesn’t play in the Gold Cup.
Herbert Mensah, president of the Ghana Rugby Football Union, has been credited with boosting the country’s rugby fortunes. He took over a few years ago and has big plans to grow the game. Rugby Africa recently named Mensah as its ‘Association President of the Year.’