Date: 1/12/15

Ghana Rugby League has elected a new Board of Directors, signalling a revamping for the sport in the country, following a high level mission led by RLEF Middle East Africa director Remond Safi, RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer and senior members of UK Sport International.

Rugby league was established in the West African nation in 2012, which was recognised as an Observer of the RLEF in August 2014. Sylvester Wellington, who was appointed as development manager at the outset and assumed the presidency of the first Board of Directors, said: “We are moving in the right direction; the new Board and the entire team want to see Ghana Rugby League rubbing shoulders with the more developed countries in the world of rugby league – I am very sure we can progress.”

The new Board is comprised of successful business leaders Kareem Captan, Ziad Fakhry (vice president), Elom Fugar (treasurer), AlHaji Ibrahim (general secretary) and Eugene Aayisi, as well as Wellington and Safi.

Its objective in 2016 is to raise the profile of Ghana RL and provide sustainable championships in schools, clubs and universities.

Captan noted: “I am honoured to serve on the Board. We are deeply grateful for all the time, support and enthusiasm that has been so graciously afforded to us for the development of the sport in the country. The RFL, RLEF, Ministry of Youth and Sports – as well as a few other key individuals and agencies – have all been influential in our progression.

“Looking ahead, we have tasked ourselves with ambitious goals and hope to have everyone involved in building the foundations to a very bright and exciting future for rugby league in Ghana and West Africa.”

Rimmer, in Ghana on a UK Sport leadership programme, met the new Board. “Last week was a huge one for the sport in Ghana, which involved the government, the University of Ghana, plus a good deal of work in the education sector, but most importantly culminated in the election of a powerful new Board for Ghanaian Rugby League,” he noted.

“Having met Kareem and his fellow directors and listened to their plans for the future I am genuinely excited about what will be achieved both domestically and internationally over the coming years.”

Safi, who also visited Ethiopia earlier this year to check on their development, was making his first visit to West Africa. “The new Ghana Rugby League board have set some high objectives which can be accomplished if all members play their role,” he acknowledged. “I can see GRL leading in West Africa and playing a major role in the whole region, supporting neighbouring countries such as Nigeria.”