From Table Tennis to Cricket: My Journey as a Professional Athlete in Ghana

Rhyda Amanfo Ofori is a multi-talented individual who has achieved much success in various fields. Born and raised in Wawasi-Creeky, Obuasi, Ghana, Rhyda is a professional teacher and the captain of the Ghana senior women’s cricket team, known as the Rare Queens.

Rhyda is an all-rounder who bowls right-arm medium-fast and is a right-handed batter. She is also passionate about cooking, music, and dancing.

Early Life and Introduction to Cricket

Rhyda’s love for sports began in her childhood. She was into many sports disciplines like table tennis, football, handball, netball, volleyball, shot put, and javelin. Her first major tournament was district games, where she led the Obuasi municipal team to victory in table tennis. However, it was cricket that stole her heart.

Rhyda’s friend Rita introduced her to cricket. At that time, Rita was the only lady playing with the boys in Obuasi. Rita invited Rhyda to join her for the girls’ invitational tournament in Accra, and Rhyda agreed. At the tournament, they met Coach Eugene, who asked Rhyda if she was a bowler or a batter. Rhyda had no idea what he was talking about, but Rita replied that Rhyda was a bowler. That was the genesis of Rhyda’s cricket career.

Cricket in Ghana

Playing cricket in Ghana has not been easy for Rhyda and her team. Ghana’s national cricket teams face many challenges, including a lack of funding and support from the government. As a result, they play only once a year, even though they receive many international invitations. The lack of funds and sponsorships makes it difficult for the team to perform well in tournaments.

One of Rhyda’s toughest experiences as a sportsperson was the Nigeria Invitational Women’s T20 International Tournament in 2020. The Ghana team had not played active cricket for a year due to the lack of funds, and their performance suffered.

Achievements and Milestones

Rhyda’s achievements in cricket include leading Ghana to its first-ever tournament in Gambia in 2015, where they came out as the second runners-up. In 2018, Ghana hosted the North-West Africa Cricket Tournament, where they came up as the runners-up. Ghana then went to Nigeria for a T20 invitational tournament, where they came out fourth. Rhyda’s iconic moment in cricket was during the North-West Africa Cricket Tournament in 2018 when she was eight months pregnant. She made the bold decision to play without the consent of the association to avoid disappointing the team.

Training and Preparation

Rhyda is committed to her training and preparation for matches. A typical training session is nothing new to her as she has been doing it for a long time. She cycles herself to the extent that whatever happens in a game situation, she takes it in good faith.

Balancing Sports, Work, and Family

Rhyda is a professional teacher and balances her athletic pursuits with other aspects of her life, such as work and family. She trains three times a week and sometimes on weekends. She manages to find time for all aspects of her life, but it can be tiring to train and participate in game situations and resume work the next day.

Goals for the Future

Rhyda has many goals for her future, both in terms of cricket and other areas of her life. She hopes to become the first-ever women’s cricket coach or, if possible, the cricket president in Ghana. She has written down many other goals in her diary.

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