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Leadership training supports Ghana Rugby League development


Leadership training supports Ghana Rugby League development

The Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD) programme in Ghana has provided professional development training to the first ever Ghana Rugby League National Manager. This preparation is for the first grassroots initiative to drive the game of Rugby League in West Africa.

Sylvester Wellington obtained the post in June and has since become a BILD Young Leader, through training he received from the University of Ghana, an implementing partner of UK Sport’s international charity, International Development through Sport (IDS). 

Leadership training through sport
“When I had the chance to join the BILD group, I thought it was sports training, but as it was based more on leadership through sports, it has given me a passion and inspiration to approach situations differently. The training has helped me re-address the way I deal with issues and my confidence has gained a great deal,” said Sylvester.

The BILD programme, which is managed by IDS and funded by the TOP Foundation, has delivered leadership training in Ghana since 2009. It’s impact on leadership development is evidenced by the experiences of Sylvester and comes after the leading government agency, UK Sport, signed a two-year agreement with the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) at the beginning of 2012. The partnership will support the introduction, nurturing and growth of rugby league in Ghana, a strategy, which feeds into a broader plan to create a cluster of rugby league playing countries in the West African region.

Integration into existing structures
The partnership has also led to the integration of UK Sport’s International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) programme, in which Edge Hill University (UK) sent a rugby league coach to work alongside Sylvester and University of Ghana rugby league coordinator, Alfred Attieku. Alex Winstanley, from St. Patricks, a rugby league team based in Wigan, worked to enhance rugby specific training.

“Working with Alex, we have been able to fuse together elements of the BILD training and rugby training into the sessions we have delivered in the communities and in schools,” said Sylvester.

There are currently eight community teams and now the potential for 485 secondary schools to also roll out Rugby League programmes, after extensive discussions with the Department of Education in Ghana.

With the support of RLEF, Sylvester spent August on secondment with rugby league team, London Skolars, to undertake intensive coaching, playing, match officiating, media and administration practical work. Now that he has returned to Ghana, he will look at how to implement these new strategies.

These initial developments are strategically leading the way for the delivery of world class rugby in communities and schools in Ghana, and eventually, West Africa.

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Mel Paramasivan


Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 23:00

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