Ghana's rugby union wants the game to rival the popularity of football in the country and the girls are shaking up perceptions.

Some girls in Ghana are shaking up perceptions – with hopes they'll become rugby's stars of the future.
Some girls in Ghana are shaking up perceptions – with hopes they'll become rugby's stars of the future. (AFP)

For most people, rugby is a sport played by burly men in muddy shorts. But some girls in Ghana are shaking up perceptions – with hopes they'll become the sport's stars of the future.

One of them, Maimuna Dawda, used to watch matches on television before she got the chance to hold the oval ball for herself in 2016.

Now, the 14-year-old plays three games of short-format seven-a-side every week at the Kanda Cluster of Schools that she attends in the capital, Accra.

"I want to play in a national team and be the best rugby player for Ghana," she says.

For the past few years, the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) is helping to implement global governing body World Rugby's "Get Into Rugby" programme.

The scheme is designed to increase the number of players, coaches and referees across the world and is helping the sport to reach more countries than ever before.

In 2016, nearly 400,000 African boys and girls took part in development programmes while just over 770,000 men, women and children played the sport.

TRT World's Adesewa Josh reports.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies