The Blueprint follows the election of a new Board on 4 February 2020 at a Special General Meeting that was overseen by the Electoral Commission of Ghana and observed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Authority and Rugby Africa.
The re-elected President and Board Chairman, Mr Herbert Mensah, immediately after the election ordered that the 2020 Ghana Rugby Stakeholder Congress (GRSC) be called to inform and consult with all stakeholders. This event was held in Accra, Ghana on 22 February 2020.
Following the GRSC a team from the Board was tasked to compile a Ghana Rugby Blueprint that should focus the Union’s activities for the following five years.
“The Ghana Rugby Strategic Plan covers the areas under administration in great detail and provides Key Performance Indicators of all the administrative and operational segments of the strategy. The Blueprint, in contrast, highlights the six to seven Key Focus Areas (KFAs) that will ensure that we can look back in five years from now and say, “We have achieved what the stakeholders expected from us,” Mensah said.
The Blueprint contains a review of the period since the Mensah administration took over control in 2014, a preview of the identified KFAs and a ‘Work-in-Process’ schedule of activities that will need to be undertaken to achieve the outcomes of the KFAs.
Some of the achievements in the past five years included becoming Full Members of World Rugby, the establishment of a domestic league wins of Rugby Africa tournaments for both men and women, the resuscitation of ‘Women in Ghana Rugby’, the establishment of a youth development programme with World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ as the foundation, governance and administrative accomplishments such the scrumIT Rugby Management System and Sage One accounting system, auditing of financial statements since 2015/16 and other areas of achievement.
The “Ghana Rugby 2020 Blueprint” identified the following Key Focus Areas: KFA 1 - Funding Ghana Rugby, KFA 2 - “From Eaglets to Eagles” or youth development, KFA 3 - Performance And African Wins, KFA 4 - WARS (West African Rugby Series) and match exposure, KFA 5 - Strong Associations & Clubs and KFA 6 - Player safety and welfare under the EagleWise banner in association with the South African BokSmart programme.
Mensah also said that plans and blueprints should guide the way forward but that they should always leave room for dynamic adjustments.
“Who on Earth would have believed you if you told everybody in November last year that the World will be turned upside down in March 2020 by a virus called COVID-19 (Coronavirus)? One needs to have dreams and ideals with guidelines or roadmaps towards achieving them but flexibility in an ever-changing world must never be compromised,” Mensah said.
Mensah emphasized that the KFA 1, the funding of Ghana Rugby, is the issue that should occupy Board Members' mind more than anything else.
“All our operations and programmes have to be funded and that means that we have to nurture and build relationships with existing supporters and simultaneously create and build new relationships with potential sponsors and funders, Mensah said.
A recent study by APO (African Press Organisation) indicated that one of Ghana rugby’s press releases can easily be valued at more than US$ 3.5 million internationally and more than US$ 44,000 in the local market.
According to Mensah, the value of an association with Ghana rugby is beyond doubt and that the challenge is to get that message to the right target audiences.
Stakeholders have been requested to give feedback on the “Ghana Rugby 2020 Blueprint” via their Regional Associations or directly to the Ghana Rugby Secretariat using the firstname.lastname@example.org email account.