Press Release, Date: 20/6/2012

The fledgling Ghana rugby league project has taken its first practical steps with development manager Sylvester Wellington, a 26-year-old Accra native, being appointed.

Wellington, who will be joined in the GRL development team by University of Ghana rugby league coordinator Alfred Attieku, is undergoing generic leadership and sports leadership training through UK Sport International’s established programme, the Beckwith International Leadership Development initiative.

Part of UK Sport International’s programme involves a coaching exchange with Edge Hill University, with the latter sending out Wigan St. Patrick’s juniors coach Alex Winstanley to guide the Ghanaian duo through their first steps into the world of rugby league.

“As a team I feel that it is going to be great working together, with help from Alex,” said Wellington. “I am already learning a lot and have been able to plan strategies to make people aware and enjoy rugby league across the country.”

Winstanley, who will spend six weeks in Ghana, travelled with his colleagues to the East Region, where they completed the leadership training element of the course. “I’m loving my time in Ghana; I have met some wonderful people who have a real passion and excitement about the development of rugby league. I can’t wait to deliver some sessions in schools, one being Accra Academy Senior High School, and pass on my love of the sport to others.”

Following the six-week induction, Wellington will undertake a month-long secondment with London Skolars, whose chairman, Hector McNeil, has been a driving force in the creation of the project. While in England he will undertake intensive coaching, playing, match officiating, media and administration practical work.

When he returns to Ghana Wellington, alongside Attieku, will plot the creation of senior and junior teams and getting a Ghanaian championship off the ground, as well as registering the association under local law.

“Rugby league is a wonderful sport and we have some great ideas for its development here in Ghana,” said Attieku. “We just need a push to get it up and running so that we can benefit communities, develop skills and create employment. I am so grateful that it is coming to Ghana.”