Telecommunication giant Vodafone collaborated with the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) to organize a workshop on the application of principles and values from the game of rugby to drive success in corporate business.
The rugby management model was developed by Mr. Herbert Mensah, a business mogul and current President of the GRFU.
The training programme is the first ever to be organized in any African country. More than 100 senior staff of Vodafone converged from all over the country to participate in the programme at the Beige Village located at New Abirem in the Eastern Region.
This formed part of the annual review and planning seminar organized by Vodafone for its staff at the end of every financial year.
With the assistance of some board members of GRFU, rugby technical directors, rugby coaches and some players from the various rugby clubs, participants were taken through rugby lessons.
Rugby is a unique sport which incorporates very important values of discipline, teamwork, passion, fairness and integrity.
The game thrives on respect for every individual; physical and mental fortitude; skills development; adherence to laid down rules; knowledge about yourself, team and competitors; combination of all resources ; and the spirit of determination and persistence to focus and work as a team to achieve end objectives.
Mr. Mensah, who has been a marketing consultant for years, disclosed in an interview that these same principles are essential for any corporate business to reach the peak.
“Rugby more than any sports in the world is a team sports. The principles are very much the same [in the corporate world]. We have goals to win, I hear that you [Vodafone] have goals to conquer, grow and win. You have core values and we see a good brand in Vodafone’s red. It’s exactly the same in rugby. In rugby, we are all brothers. If you are going to be effective and be better than your competition in business you need to have the same team spirit,” he added.
The Commercial Director for Vodafone Ghana, Mr. Nii Boi Adjei noted that the workshop was phenomenal and exceeded their expectations.
Mr. Adjei highlighted the importance of transferring the psychology of rugby to inspire the Vodafone team to achieve their target for the next financial year.
“Rugby is about resilience and competitiveness and these are the basic values that one requires in an environment as competitive as ours. We have learnt a lot about team work and determination to succeed and we are psyched up for the next year.”
He expressed gratitude and was hopeful of a fruitful long term partnership with the GRFU.
Enthused senior staff of the company who participated in various rugby sessions suggested to Vodafone to set up a rugby team to compete in the next edition of the Ghana Rugby Club Championship.
Under the leadership of Mr. Mensah, the GRFU successfully organized the first professionally recognized Ghana Rugby Club Championship in the country amidst a myriad of challenges especially sponsorships.
The final match for the season will be between Cosmos Buffaloes RFC and Idas Sports RFC at the Accra Rugby Club pitch in Legon on Saturday, 21st March 2015 with kickoff at 1:30pm. Various rewards are at stake for the winning team and individuals who have excelled during the 2014/2015 season.
The former Chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko believes rugby must be branded in a way that Ghanaians will understand it culturally. He elaborated on several positives of playing rugby and downplayed the perception that rugby is a highly injurious game.
“There are basic statistics about rugby. People who get involved in rugby are less likely to commit crime. There are less statistical injuries in rugby than even football and that will surprise many people. Rugby players prepare differently, the fitter and stronger you are the less likely you are to suffer injuries,” he emphasized.
Rigorous projects have been implemented to develop rugby in communities at the grassroots across the country.
The Union has organized various training programmes for sports tutors at basic and secondary school levels with follow ups to ensure that rugby is embraced by young individuals.
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