Ghana Rugby readies itself for Board elections

The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) announced that a date has been set for the election of new board members after the completion of Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the second regional association, the Greater Accra Rugby Association (GARA), on Saturday 5 August 2017.

The CentWest Rugby Association (CentWest) completed its extraordinary AGM on 30 June 2017 ahead of the scheduled Ghana Rugby Club Championship which is due in October 2017. At the meeting CentWest also approved the new GRFU Constitution that was adopted by a GRFU AGM on 17 June 2017.

The new GRFU Constitutions was also endorsed by the GARA AGM.

This has paved the way for the election of a new GRFU Board based on the new constitution. The 23rd of September has provisionally been set for these elections.

According to the President of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, the new constitution became a necessity to align the governance structure with best practice management principles and to position Ghana Rugby for the exciting and challenging future that it faces.

“Ghana Rugby achieved to become a full member of World Rugby in a record time since 5 June 2014 when the membership was announced by World Rugby on 10 May 2017. This has paved the way for Ghana Rugby to enter the world stage of Rugby that is both exciting and immensely challenging.

To face these opportunities and challenges we had no other option than to align our governance structures to give us the best possible chance of success,” Mensah said in a statement from his UK base.

The new constitution provides for the election of five nominated directors and for the appointment of three more directors.

Mensah continued to say, “In the past executive members were elected based on operational roles. That is not in line with what we require. The Ghana Rugby Board is supposed to be a strategic guidance body and in our case a funding body.”

The new constitution also provides for the elections of “Officers” who are not involved in strategic or operational management or decision making roles. These “Officer” positions include a Patron, President and Vice President.

The Board will be led by a Chairman that will be selected by the newly elected and appointed Board Members. The new Board will also be responsible to appoint a CEO, who in turn will be responsible for the operational management of Ghana Rugby.

According to Mensah, “The new constitution is based on the New Zealand Rugby constitutional model. We had many models to choose from and found that their model is probably best suited for Ghana. They are also the world’s leading Rugby nation and it makes sense to assume that their governance model played a part in their success.”

Another major opportunity came about for Ghana Rugby when they, due to their newly acquired World Rugby membership, were included in the Africa Men’s Sevens Tournament that is scheduled for 6 and 7 October 2017 in Kampala, Uganda.

Ten nations will compete for the Africa Sevens Cup including Botswana, Ghana, Madagascar, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

The significance of Ghana Rugby’s inclusion is that the tournament serves as a qualifier for the Sevens Rugby World Cup 2018, the Commonwealth Games and the Hong Kong World Series.

Mensah has previously stated that he has little doubt that Ghana Rugby is by far the underdog of the ten teams and it may have a very slim chance to make the cut in 2017. He added that the fact that Ghana Rugby got this chance was not just luck, but that it took enormous effort and huge amounts of money to get in the position to even be considered.

“As always it is yet again a case of funding and with the reluctance of our government to support national teams other than the Black Stars we are again appealing to corporate Ghana to join us on this exciting journey. Those who get onto the Rugby bandwagon now can be sure of major future exposure and goodwill, Mensah said.

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