Rhyda Ofori Calls on Sponsors to Back Women’s Cricket in Ghana

by | Jun 1, 2022

Ghana women’s cricket captain, Rhyda Amanfo Ofori is encouraging sponsors to back the sport in her country as she continues to pave the way for young girls to aspire to become professional athletes in future.

In 2015, Ofori was appointed as captain of the senior national team and says despite the ups and downs of the role, it has been a fantastic experience for her.

To date, Ofori has played an integral part in the Rare Queens’ set-up with the hope of turning the sport professional soon.

The skipper is motivated by leading women cricketers including Momentum Proteas’ stand-in captain Suné Luus and West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor as she reveals that their grit and determination inspires her to continue paving the way for the next generation.

Her advice to close the visibility gap is to expose the sport to more young girls and ensure that all women’s cricketers are afforded opportunities to tell their stories.

Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Ofori chats about the state of cricket in Ghana and reveals her greatest ambition.

 

Rhyda, thank you for chatting to us. Please tell us about yourself!

Rhyda Amanfo Ofori is my name. I’m 24-years of age. I live in Obuasi Ashanti part of Ghana (West Africa). My hobbies are cooking, music, dance and being on the field.

I am a valuable member of the Ghana Senior Women’s team (The RARE QUEENS) and currently the captain. I’m a bowling all-rounder, I bowl right arm medium and a right-hand middle order batter.

 

When and where did your love for sport develop?

It all started at the basic school, I was heavily involved in other sporting disciplines like table tennis, football, handball, netball, volleyball until a friend introduced me to cricket. She was like: “Rhy, there’s a new game that I want you to learn if you don’t mind,” she briefed and in summary, it’s a hand-eye thing which I can easily relate to so I fell for it at once.

I was the only little girl running around with the boys playing, that’s where the love grew exponentially.

Interestingly, she was about to travel to Accra (capital city) for the girls invitational tournament and asked me to join. I left with her with anticipation to Accra for the tournament, the first person we met was Coach Eugene currently the COO of the Ghana cricket association. He said Rita (my friend), “Who’s this girl?” She replied “She’s a cricketer “. Then the coach asked me “Are you a bowler or a batter?” and I was like what is he saying because I don’t have any clue about what he’s asking, my friend replied, “She’s a bowler”. The genesis of my cricket career started after the tournament.

 

When you started out, who were some of the cricketers who motivated you?

Stafanie Taylor (West Indies women’s captain), Suné Luus (South Africa) and Maroof Bismah (Pakistan). I really admire them on the field of play, their aggressiveness, the zeal, willpower and energy they portray when playing.

 

What are some of the challenges you have face being in the sport?

I faced a lot of challenges when I started playing cricket, especially convincing someone who’s into a well-known sport in Ghana to come play cricket. It was tough but I managed to sail through. In our current senior women’s team, almost all of us did multiple sports but cricket conquered all to win our hearts to fully indulge in the sport.

 

What do you think should be done to close the visibility gap in cricket?

Women should be exposed to cricket more from domestic to international. Major tournaments should be organized and filtered down to lesser countries for women and girls to mount the fields with their heroes, like the recently concluded FairBreak international women’s tournament.

 

What are some of your career highlights in your career to date?

I led Ghana to our first ever tournament in Gambia (2015) which we came out as the runners-up and when Ghana hosted the North-West Africa cricket tournament (2018) which we came up as runners-up once again.

We then went to Nigeria after a long break of women’s cricket in Ghana for a T20 invitational tournament where we finished 4th.

I’m counting on achieving more when given the opportunity. I take more pride in seeing team achievement more than my individual accolades.

 

Apart from being a cricketer, what else are you doing and how do you keep balance?

I teach at the junior high school, and I practice 3 times in a week after school.

 

How long have you been the captain of the Ghanaian team and how has the experience been?

I’ve captained the Ghana senior women’s team since 2015 . The experience has been fantastic and amazing even though there’s going to be an ups and downs.

 

How is the state of women’s cricket in Ghana?

Women’s cricket is growing steadily every blessed day thanks to the Ghana cricket association for keeping women’s cricket alive by putting measures in place to turn needful attention towards creating the awards that girls, too, can play cricket.

 

How can we encourage sponsors to back women’s sport in Africa? 

Women’s Sport can attract potential sponsors in Africa when organizers/leaders put fixation on branding and continuity with how we sell our sport to the rest of the world. So in all fairness, with loads of strategical hands on board we should come up with how we can market ourselves to attract investors. Let’s expose women’s sport in every direction to make it a force.

 

Who are your personal sponsors and how do they make your dreams a reality?

I don’t have a personal sponsor neither do our women’s team. Maybe it’ll be through you and this interview that our dream of sponsorships will become reality.

 

What do you think makes a good brand ambassador?

A good brand is about packaging and advertising your brand (yourself) with consistency, passion and commitment.

 

What’s your greatest ambition?

My greatest ambition is to play professional cricket and putting women’s cricket in Ghana on the map when given the exposure.

 

What’s your advice to aspiring women in sport?

My advice to the aspiring women in sport is that they should be disciplined and keep working hard, but smarter with purpose.

 

Photo 1 Caption: Ghana women’s cricket captain, Rhyda Amanfo Ofori is encouraging sponsors to back the sport in her country as she continues to pave the way for young girls to aspire to become professional athletes in future. Photo: Supplied

Share this article:

About the Author:

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Categories

Related Posts