Societé Generale Ghana and Ghana Rugby announced their intention to build character for youth together based on the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) youth development programme that is underpinned by the Rugby values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.

The announcement was made at the Secretariat of Ghana Rugby during a meeting between Mr Daniel Rex Danquah (External Communication Officer, Société Générale Ghana), Ms Angela Nanansaa Bonsu (GM Company Secretariat, Société Générale Ghana), Ms Jannifer S. Darko (Community Manager, Société Générale Ghana), Mr Abdul-Aziz Issah (Board Member, Ghana Rugby) and Ms Rafatu Inusah (Board Member and ‘Get Into Rugby’ Coordinator, Ghana Rugby).

According to Mr Danquah, Société Générale has been involved in Rugby since 1903 and the bank became the official bank of French rugby in 1987. Société Générale is also the official banker of Ghana Rugby and is a major partner of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Today, the bank promotes its brand from grassroots to top level and is strongly associated with rugby’s values.

Mr Danquah also said that the bank is honoured to not only be the official bankers of Ghana Rugby but to also make this contribution towards Ghana Rugby’s commendable youth development programme.

“We have been observing what Mr Herbert Mensah and his team has been doing for quite some time and we are impressed with the achievements of the Union and with the very visible and exciting ‘Get Into Rugby’ Programme of Ghana Rugby,” Danquah said.

Danquah continued to say that Société Générale is proud of its strong bonds with Rugby globally and hope that this will be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship that will last for many years.

Mr Mensah, President of Ghana Rugby, said in a message from London that the step by Société Générale to also support the youth developments in Ghana is a major historic moment for Ghana Rugby.

“The development of youth and women rugby has been high on my administration’s list of priorities since we took over the administration of Ghana Rugby on 5 June 2014. The World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” programme forms the foundation of our rugby development in Ghana and it can only reach the millions of children in Ghana with the support of institutions like Société Générale,” Mensah said.

Mensah is quoted as having said that Rugby is much more than boys and girls having fun with an oval ball. He said, “Rugby is underpinned by its values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect and these values form the basis of building the character that the youth will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Mensah also welcomed Société Générale Ghana to the growing list of corporate sponsors, and thus Friends of Ghana Rugby, including the Panafrican Equipmentment Group, Interplast, the Gino Brands and Sunda International to name a few.

“We need all the support we can get and this gesture by Société Générale Ghana and the recent donation of US$ 10,000 by the Ministry of Youth and Sports gives me hope that we will be able to fulfil our mission, namely to grow the rugby Family to all corners of Ghana,” Mensah said.

The “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) Programme consists of two Phases, Try and Play, with four modules each aimed at introducing Rugby to especially young people who have never been exposed to Rugby. The programme equips learners with the basic knowledge and skills of the Game of Rugby union that is the second biggest team sport in the world.

The Ghana Rugby GIR Programme is currently managed on a Zonal basis in Greater Accra and CentWest with Development Officers who services a number of schools. In 2017 the programme introduced more that 5,000 children to Rugby and its values and the target for 2019 is 9,600 new participants.

Ghana Rugby also recently received a welcome donation of 80 Gilbert GIR balls during the 13th Rugby Africa Summit in Marrakech-Morocco.

Rafatu Inusah, Coordinator of the GIR Programme in the Greater Accra Region, said, “The sponsorship by Société Générale Ghana and the donation of the GIR balls by Gilbert are greatly appreciated and welcomed in the light of the enormous task and associated cost that goes with our character building programme in Ghana.”

Inusah said that the Union also recently started an initiative to capture and preserve the many special moments during the work of the GIR Development Officers at schools and in the communities in the form of a Facebook Page titled “Ghana Rugby GIR Collection.”

Ghana Rugby Board Member and President of the Greater Accra Rugby Association (GARA) also expressed his appreciation to Société Générale and welcomed them to the Ghana Rugby Family.

“We have had a long-standing relationship with Société Générale as our bankers and we hope that this sponsorship relationship will also grow over time as we grow and expand the footprint of Rugby all over Ghana,” Issah said.

Société Générale is also the official banker of Ghana Rugby and is a major partner of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.