Herbert Mensah aims to take African rugby to greater heights

Herbert Mensah aims to take African rugby to greater heights

Herbert Mensah.

The man behind a blossoming of rugby in Ghana has put up his hand to be elected the chairman of Rugby Africa early next month.

The president and board chairman of Ghana Rugby, Herbert Mensah, was nominated last week by the board of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) for the position of president of World Rugby’s continental body, Rugby Africa.

Rugby Africa will be electing a new EXCO at its annual general meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, on 2 March.

Mensah and his administration took over the reins at Ghana Rugby in 2014, during which he introduced a professional online and decentralised rugby management system, scrumIT, that revolutionised the administrative running of rugby in Ghana.

He introduced an online financial accounting system and was, according to a statement from Mensah’s office, the only sports association that produced audited financial statements since 2015.

He established the first-ever ten-team domestic league and, since 2018, incorporated both a men’s and women’s section in the annual Ghana Rugby Club Championship.

He resuscitated Women in Rugby in Ghana and built a team that will take part in this year’s Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Cup as well as in the yet-to-be-announced Women’s Fifteens Tournament.

Mensah introduced youth development on the basis of World Rugby’s “Get Into Rugby” Programme, which has seen more than 5,000 new participants introduced to the Game of Rugby Union with a target of 10,000 for 2019.

Ghana successfully not only hosted but won two Rugby Africa men’s fifteens tournaments, the 2017 Regional Challenge and the 2018 Bronze Cup,

Ghana Rugby made it into the Rugby Africa Men’s Fifteens tournament in 2017 and will again compete for Olympic qualification in 2019.

Mensah was elected to the board of the Ghana Rugby Olympic Committee because of his achievements with Ghana Rugby and his history of successful sports administration in Ghana. During his tenure as Chairman of the famous Kumasi Assante Koto FC, appointed by the King of the Asantes, he recorded many notable successes.

“Herbert is a Rugby man at heart and in his rugby days played county rugby in Sussex and also represented Saracens in the UK. He played rugby in Zimbabwe where he scored a try against a visiting Italian side,” said the statement.

“Herbert is also well known as the person who hosted the 1996 Max Brito Extravaganza in Accra to raise funds for the Ivorian player who was paralysed in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. This was also recorded for posterity by World Rugby in the documentary, “The Last Amateur Tour | World Rugby Films”.

His achievements were acknowledged by World Rugby in the documentary “Ghana Rugby’s rapid growth”. 

“Herbert’s nomination is based on his vision to introduce Ghana Rugby to a new era where the most important stakeholders, our rugby players, will benefit from increased participation, better facilities for Unions and Federations and better support from its governing bodies.

“As his second priority, he will restore the integrity of the Association, Rugby Africa, so that it is truly an Association run by its Members, the Unions and Federations, for its Members.

“His biggest mission will be to resolve the most important strategic stumbling block, namely sustainable funding, to ensure that the situation that Rugby Africa finds itself in does not continue into the future.”

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