The President of Ghana Rugby, Herbert Mensah, has started a new craze amongst the Ghana Rugby players that he calls “Gutter-to-Gutter” Rugby.
Exercise and physical training have always been part and parcel of his daily routine and Herbert Mensah often combines this to take his dogs for a brisk morning walk in the neighbourhood of Osu, Accra.
This habit inspired some of the Ghana Rugby players to join him and to combine the early morning walk with honing Rugby skills in terms of ball handling.
“During the recent Rugby Africa Regional Challenge tournament that Ghana Rugby won against Benin and Togo, we identified that our players sometime fall short on even the most basic skills such as ball handling. By combining early morning exercise with improving that basic skill we hope to instill an attitude that any and every opportunity must be used to improve basic skills,” Mensah said.
Like no other sport, rugby tests all elements of true fitness: speed, strength, power, agility, balance, endurance and co-ordination. This fitness, however, has to be combined with handling a Rugby ball and being able to run with it, catch it, pass it and kick it.
“Many health and fitness experts and research has proven that walking as exercise is indeed the ‘superfood’ of fitness and should not be ignored for both the physical and psychological benefits it provides. Why not combine that with ball skills training?” Mensah said.
The early morning “Gutter-to-Gutter Rugby Training” is expected to catch on amongst many of the Rugby players in the country and one of the players think that Accra and Cape Coast residents may soon be inspired to join in the fun and excitement of the programme.
Rugby union, commonly known as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.
Rugby is also the second biggest sport in the world. The 2016 World Rugby Year in Review reported 8.5 million players, of which 3.2 million were registered union players and 1.9 million were registered club players. Female players represented 22% of all participants.