The further development of Rugby League in Ghana has been boosted, courtesy of sponsorship of the Ghana Rugby League Federation by a UK-based businesswoman. Sara Gawa-McNiel, resident in London, is of Ghanaian heritage and a keen supporter of the sport.
Her investment, which covers 2021 and 2022, will be used to fund the growth of specific domestic activity in Ghana, including introducing youth and women’s competition, improving the men’s domestic competitions and developing more match officials and coaches, with a view to Ghana meeting the Full Member criteria of the IRL and ERL by the end of 2022.
“As part of the Ghanaian community in the UK and a passionate fan of the sport, I am very pleased to see it already develop to such a level in Ghana in such a short time,” Gawa-McNiel said. “Seeing the progress in both the men’s and women’s game is quite inspiring and I hope our contribution can help that blossom further.”
The developments will be overseen by European Rugby League’s Middle East & Africa regional director, Remond Safi, who will also administer the monies to ensure that the objectives of the funds are achieved.
“I am very grateful to Sara Gawa-McNiel for her generous support of the Ghana Rugby League Federation,” he commented. “This sponsorship will be put to very good use to build long term sustainability for rugby league in Ghana and to support the federation. I am looking forward to working closely with the GRLF to deliver these outcomes.”
Safi hopes that by highlighting this investment he can attract similar funding into other established African nations such as Nigeria, Morocco, Cameroon, DR Congo, Burundi, together with newer MEA Members starting on the road to recognition.
“A relatively small investment can make a large difference to the federations growing the game domestically in the Middle East & Africa region,” he continued. “I would be very keen to discuss opportunities with anyone who has an interest in investing in the region and achieving specified objectives, supervised by Confederation staff.”
This is the year of the Rugby League World Cup 2021