Profile Of Herbert Mensah, GFA Presidential Hopeful
Prior to his appointment as President of Ghana Rugby, Herbert Mensah was appointed to the executive of the Greater Accra Rugby Association (GARA) in May 2014. At the occasion, he stressed the importance to build infrastructure to motivate the youth and to grow the game of rugby in Ghana.
On assuming office, his first priority was to order an assessment of the state of rugby in Ghana by his Board Members. He travelled to Dublin to meet with officials of World Rugby to seek guidance on the development of Rugby in Ghana.
The meeting was followed up with a meeting, also in Dublin, with the Rugby Africa Development Manager. He also met with various stakeholdersincluding regional associations, clubs, players and the business community.
On Friday, 29 August 2014, Mensah convened a Ghana Rugby Stakeholder Forum in Accra, where the Ghana Rugby Blueprint was presented. He also arranged training sessions for both coaches and referees to improve the quality of the sport inGhana.
The coaches' training conducted by Mr David Dobela of South Africawas described as a historical event forGhana Rugby as it was the first time in 11 years that coaches were trained on both Level 1 and Level 2 for rugby union and Sevens coaching.
Herbert Mensah, President of Ghana Rugby, meeting with David Carrigy and Morgan Buckley of World Rugby in Dublin, Ireland in July 2014. Based on his consultations with both World Rugby and Rugby Africa. Mensah realised that a stumbling block in the way of Ghana Rugby to become a full member of World Rugby was the successful completion of a successfully run local league by at least ten clubs.
He immediately mobilised his resources and planned and completed the first professionally run Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC). One of Mensah's major challenges as president of Ghana Rugby remains funding the sport and he has initiated various activities including a raffle ticket drive. He also managed to get corporates such as Accra Brewery,Interplast Ghana, Vodafone Ghana andZen Petroleum involved in supporting Ghana Rugby.
In collaboration with the Vodafone Ghana management team he staged a management motivational event using the values and principles of rugby to help Vodafone prepare its management for year ahead. He has challenged the Government of Ghana on more than one occasionabout support promised to minority sports such as rugby that has never been delivered. He remains a vocal critic of other government failures well beyond the realm of sport. After the 2015/16 Ghana Rugby Club Championship, Mensah, in the absence of a National Technical Director, appointed a four-man technical squad under his guidance to prepare the Ghana national men's sevens team for its Africa Rugby international commitment. The technical team consisting of Messrs. Simba Mangena (Head Coach of Conquerors SC), Clement Dennis (Player / Coach of Griffons RFC), Amuzuloh Salim (Head Coach of Cosmos Buffaloes RFC) and Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC) put the squad of 25 players through a rigorous training programme that ended in April 2016. This was followed by Phase II of the preparation that started early May when a reduced squad of 16 players started camping in Accra.
The Ghana national men’s sevens Rugby team managed to lift the bronze cup in the 2016 Africa Rugby “Africa Cup West” tournament in Lome, Togo on 28 May 2016. The final squad of 12 players who competed in the Africa Rugby "Africa Cup West" men's sevens tournament in Lome, Togo on 28 May 2016 consisted of: Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC), Clement Dennis (Griffons RFC), Sani Alhassan (Captain)(Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Alex Dorpenyo (Conquerors SC), Seidu Razak (Conquerors SC), Solomon Akumba (Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Michael Acquaye (Conquerors SC), Calestus Bosoka (Conquerors SC), Emmanuel Kalos (Conquerors SC), Joseph Mensah (Griffons RFC), Erick Acquah (Griffons RFC) and Nasiru Aminu (Conquerors SC).
The Ghana Eagles, as the Ghana national Rugby team is known, managed to lift the Bronze or Third Place cup after it was ranked as number one based on the Pool results. Full Membership of World RugbyEdit On 10 May 2017 the World Rugby Council approved the application by the Ghana Rugby Football Union as a full member union, bringing the total number to 104 full members and 17 associates. In announcing the achievement World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Ghana as a full member of World Rugby. These are very exciting times for our sport with unprecedented growth and interest around the world.