The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) celebrated #OlympicDay with a “Get Into Rugby” exhibition at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday 24 June 2017 to showcase Rugby as Olympic sport. The event formed part of the celebrations organised by the Ghana Olympic Committee.
According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), “Olympic Day is much more than just a sports event, it is a day for the world to get active, learn about Olympic values and discover new sports. based on the three pillars move, learn and discover, National Olympic Committees are organising sports, cultural and educational activities throughout the world.”
Rugby 15s appeared for the first time at the Olympic Games in Paris in 1900 and was on the programme of the 1908, 1920 and 1924 Games. This sport subsequently did not feature on the programme, but has been reintroduced for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 in its 7s format.
At the 121st IOC Session held in Copenhagen in October 2009, it was decided to include rugby in the Olympic programme for Rio in 2016, with a men’s and a women’s rugby 7s tournament, each with 12 teams.
According to the President of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, participation in an Olympics event is definitely the dream of any athlete and it is no different for Rugby players.
“The reintroduction of Rugby to the Olympic fold was a major milestone in the history of Rugby. Ghana Rugby, even though it is in an embryonic phase of development, has definitely set its eyes on qualifying both junior and senior teams to the Olympic Games.” Mensah said.
The Olympic Day exhibition by Ghana Rugby consisted of learners from the “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) programme of six schools taking part in typical GIR sessions under the supervision of Rafatu Inusah, a Board Member of the Greater Accra Rugby Association (GARA) and GRFU Women’s Rugby Development Manager, and coach Sani Alhassan.
The GIR Programme (GIRP) is World Rugby’s core programme to grow the Game of Rugby in the world and is aimed at new entrants to the sport. The programme consists of two phases, “Try” and “Play” with four modules in each phase that progressively equip the youth and other new entrants with basic skills required to move to the “Stay” phase of Rugby.
GIR is also the cornerstone of Ghana Rugby’s youth development programme and has seen encouraging growth in participation since the introduction of the programme in 2015.
Rugby union, commonly known as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.
Rugby is the second biggest sport in the world. The 2016 World Rugby Year in Review reported 8.5 million players, of which 3.2 million were registered union players and 1.9 million were registered club players. Female players represented 22% of all participants.
The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) is the official sports federation representing Rugby Union in Ghana and is a full member of both Rugby Afrique and World Ruby. Ghana Rugby is also registered with the Ghana National Sports Authority (NSA) and is a member of the Ghana Olympic Committee. Mr Herbert Mensah is the President of Ghana Rugby. Website: http://ghanarugby.org/
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