The Ghana Rugby Board welcomed Mr Joseph Bentil Anie, better known as Chester, to the fold of the Board after he was appointed in terms of the new Constitution that was adopted in 2017.
Mr Anie underwent schooling at the Ghana International School and Achimota Secondary School and obtained his law degree at Warwick University (Coventry U.K).
After a stint at the United Nations (New York), he finally emerged in his home country Ghana as a fully fledged Barrister and NGO analyst.
In an interview in 2015, Mr Anie said, “My life since that time has been an absolute roller-coaster of P.R, Industry, Law, Bar life, Politics, Television, Interior Design, Corporate facilitation, Eccentricity, Fashion, Style, Audio-Visual Production and Frutelli: ‘full of natural goodness”.
According to the President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, the appointment of Mr Anie to the Board follows the appointment of Mr Ernest Hanson as the second of four appointed as opposed to elected Board Members.
“The major change in the new Constitution that was adopted in 2017 was the issue of governance and Board Membership. The provision to appoint individuals from outside the Rugby fraternity must be regarded as a turning point in the history of Ghana Rugby,” Mensah said.
Mensah continued to say that the need for running Ghana Rugby as a business rather than just a sports association is accentuated by the plight of sports bodies all over the world to fund their operations that require substantial amounts of money.
“Rugby has a peculiar dilemma in a country such as Ghana where an oval boil is seen as a spoiled soccer ball and where the government ignores almost all sports but football. The Board has to be business minded and solve this problem or Ruby as a minority sport in Ghana, even though it is the second biggest team sport in the world, will dwindle into obscurity,” Mensah stated.
Mr Anie had the following to say after the Board Meeting, “I wish to express my sincere gratitude to be appointed as a Board Member of Ghana Rugby. I see the appointment as a great step for both myself and Ghana Rugby. I am a professional at heart, and intend to do my best to contribute my knowledge, experience, and contacts, to enhance the image of Ghana Rugby, to firmly cement its place in World Rugby.”
Apart from welcoming Mr Anie, the Ghana Rugby Board assessed the status of preparation for the 2018 Rugby Africa Bronze Cup between Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritius and Rwanda in Cape Coast during the week of 7 to 13 May 2018.
The move of the international sports event to Cape Coast was necessitated after the NSA (National Sports Association) out of the blue decided to close the Accra Sports Stadium for renovations.
One of the Board Members said that the unexpected announcements not only posed major logistical headaches to the Ghana Rugby Board but that it had a massive impact on the financial planning for the event and that it, in fact, placed Ghana Rugby under stress and indeed at risk.
“One has to ask if the NSA would have done this if there was an international event planned for the Black Stars,” the Board Member lamented.
Mensah mentioned that Ghana rugby has achieved to obtain some very welcome support in the form of sponsorships and donations and a major announcement in this regard will be made closer to the launch of the tournament.
“We have already thanked companies such as the Panafrican Group, Interplast, the Gino Brands, the Golden Tulip Accra, eVerpure, Accra Breweries and various others for their support in the past and with the Bronze Cup and hope to add some more names to our list of highly valued supporters,” Mensah said.
The tournament grant by Rugby Africa is meant to cover essential costs but according to Ghana Rugby, it is not nearly enough to host such a major international sporting event at a world-class level that will promote Ghana as a preferred sports event and indeed a preferred investment destination.
“This event is much more a showcase of Ghana as a country to the world than it is a Rugby event,” Mensah concluded.