By Phil Caplan, Date: 14/12/12
Ghana Rugby League Development Manager Sylvester Wellington has overseen the completion of a training course for potential rugby league leaders, held at the University of Ghana in Legon, Accra.
It was delivered by a three-man RLEF technical delegation, coaching manager Martin Crick, Andy Gilvary and Danny McNeice over six days.
â€œI was very happy to see lots of men and women turn up for the course,â€ said Wellington. â€œThey have really shown lots of interest in the game and they canâ€™t wait to impact on their people when they get back to their various institutions.â€
A total of 63 candidates drawn from civil society, schools and universities, national defence establishments and from Nigeria attended, with 28 completing a one-day introductory course in coaching and match officiating and then the two-day RLEF Level 1 Coaching Course.
Stephen Larweteh, from Vilac Intâ€™l School, was one who completed all aspects. â€œI have enjoyed basketball all my life until the GRL development manager met me and said to me to get involved. Initially I was reluctant but what I have learned from the classroom to the field has been very good. We will go out there to spread the good news of rugby league.â€
The course was officially sanctioned by the Ghana Education Service, part of the Ministry of Education, which sent the highest proportion of candidates from Accraâ€™s many state and private schools.
Labone Senior High School teacher Vida Nyawornota also sees a bright future for the sport in Ghana: â€œBy the end of the course I joined the men to play contact rugby league for the first time; I enjoyed it so much and am ready to encourage women and men to take this game on. I believe it teaches you a lot both physically and mentally.â€
Leon Crick was keen to point out the potential in Ghana: â€œThe improvement was massive and, by the end, after just a few days of exposure to the sport, we saw what looked like a game of rugby league played by some athletic people. In terms of potential, Ghana easily matches and possibly exceeds what Iâ€™ve seen in many of the European countries Iâ€™ve worked in.â€
The Ghana rugby league project is a pilot scheme in sub-Saharan Africa, with a number of other countries interested in adopting the sport since its recognition by the Commonwealth Games Federation in 2011.