Three World Rugby Trainers under leadership of Mr Denver Wannies (South Africa) with Mr Johnbosco Muamba (Kenya) and Dr Ben Mahinda embarked on a historic mission in Ghana to start training local candidates to also become Trainers.
According to Ghana Rugby President and Board Chairman, Mr Herbert Mensah, the occasion was momentous as it will liberate the Union from the need to wait for the availability of Rugby Africa Trainers to undertake Level 1 training of coaches in Ghana.
“Given the ambitious drive to penetrate schools with the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) youth education programme and plans for the expansion of rugby to new Regions in Ghana our need for GIR Courses and Level 1 Coaching courses is huge. This need can only be met if we can become independent from scarce Rugby Africa Trainers who are inundated with requests for training from more than 30 other African nations,” Mensah said.
Wannies, a World Rugby Master Trainer that is part of an elite squad of only seven other similarly qualified Trainers, came to Ghana to qualify a number of Level 2 Rugby Coaches, another first for Ghana Rugby.
His mission to Ghana also included the identification of potential candidates that may be developed into World Rugby Educators. Three such candidates were selected that includes Head Coach of Ghana Rugby, Mr Lovemore ‘Dallas’ Kuzorera, Mr Clement Dennis who is the Technical Director of the CentWest Rugby Association and Ms Rafatu Inusah, Board Member and Women’s Representative.
Another area of need in Ghana, match officiating, was covered by Muamba who undertook two Level 1 Match Officiating courses as well as a new injury prevention course, Activate.
Dr Mahinda was part of the squad and undertook three “First Aid In Rugby” (FAIR) courses.
According to Wannies the mission to Ghana was highly productive. In a TV interview, Wannies said that with a little investment, including training, Ghana Rugby has the potential to compete effectively with the big names in Africa such as Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda.
Muamba said that, especially for a fast developing country such as Ghana, it is essential to keep developing and training coaches, match officials and medically qualified personnel.
“The Level 1 officiating went well. I was happy to incorporate the Activate programme to the course which challenged participants’ knowledge about exercises and injury prevention,” Muamba said.
Dr Ben Mahinda said that he has a long-standing admiration for Ghana as a country and that coming here was kind of a dream for him.
“Rugby is a contact sport and it is logical that there may be some injuries. Rugby Africa has invested in resources to support unions such as Ghana Rugby to make sure that player welfare is always part and parcel of coaches’ and referees’ arsenal of skills,” Mahinda said.
Mensah showed Ghana Rugby’s appreciation for the valuable work done by the Educators and Trainers by presenting each one of them with an original Ghana Eagles jersey.
Wannies will be back in Ghana on the 4th of March when he will join Mr Steph Nel, World Rugby Services Manager for Africa, and Mr Charles Yapo, Rugby Africa Development Manager for West Africa on a visit to review Ghana Rugby’s development strategy.
Wannies will not form part of the evaluation process but will rather focus on the next phase of the process to qualify the three identified Educator candidates.