To rugby or not to rugby

Daniel started playing rugby this year. By ‘playing rugby’ I mean ‘he is in the C Team and avoids any physical contact that doesn’t include hugging and actually touching the ball or running at all cost’.

But I digress.

On my way to watch my first actual match yesterday an ambulance came screaming past and I had a small moment of panic hoping that 1. it wasn’t on its way to the school and 2. that it wasn’t needed for my child (although highly unlikely due to reasons above).

As it turns out it was needed for a rugby injury on a Gr 1 learner.

I know many people don’t allow their kids to play rugby because of potential injury and yes, I know that kids that play soccer and hockey are at risk for as much injury and that everyone could present me with statistics to support their point of view, much like the good old vaccination debate. But lets not go there.

Kids have to do sport in my opinion. It teaches them team work, it forces them to get moving, it teaches them to be at least a little competitive and above all it gives them a sense of accomplishment. Etienne used to play rugby and has had his fair share of shoulder injuries and cauliflower ears, but he grew up with 2 older brothers and impromptu rugby games at home. Things are a little different in our house due to the small matter of 2 younger sisters and a lot less rough and tumble. Daniel is just not that type of child.

My own stellar sport career includes 5th team hockey at school, but I did enjoy running around in the mud as much as the next person, although I may or may not have spent an inordinate amount of time squealing and dodging hockey sticks.  But I’m not saying.

So, to sum up: we are more about ‘enjoy’ and less about ‘you must’, like many parents in his grade that are quite competitive, much to my amusement.

What I’m curious to know is this:

How do you feel about kids and sport in general and rugby in particular?

What sports do your kids play, if any?

Ps. I’m really nervous about standing next to the sports field as I have the potential to, er, get vocally involved.

Pps. School parking lot rage. Wow. It’s an actual thing.

9 thoughts on “To rugby or not to rugby”

  1. Wow! Tough question. We have made the call to not actively encourage participation in rugby because it would give us and the grandparents a heart attack. There are plenty of other sports like soccer and hockey that come with their share of injuries but rarely cripple a person from the neck down. I agree that children need to do sport so the only thing I would do is “guide” the choices to what I think is safe 🙂 xx

  2. This is a topic my husband and I are constantly debating about…
    I was the spory type and enjoyed running around and the competition was what made is more “worth it”. Love kicking someones ass, because you’ve worked damn hard to get it done… But husband was not at all into sports (more brainy than me).

    I think it is very important to do some kind of sport from Grade 1 onwards, but only if they enjoy it and wants to do it. Shaun refuses to do any sport, he doesn’t like working in teams and is more comfortable being on his own or only with one person at a time… This is where husband say, let him be and me who encourage him to try tennis, karate, kick boxing, gholf or athletics. We will see how it goes next year…

    Then we have Lee-Anne, she isn’t into anything other than looking pretty. (Not my example, I can walk in pj’s all day if it was allowed). So, I am not sure she will be “sporty” either. She is more into the creative things in life.

    To conclude: I feel it nessesary for them to do anything, but I would NEVER let Shaun play rugby. But I will respect their choices if they do not want to do sport at all. Some kids just haven’t got the personality for it. Shaun is more into the “brainy” kind of stuff like his dad and Lee-Anne more into creative things. We will see, maybe Kaelynn will follow in my footsteps and love sports.. Never will we “push” our kids into doint things they do not want to do, but we will encourage them to at least try it once before deciding against it…

  3. Well you know my older 2 play hockey and the youngest plays netball.
    Mine play because they love sport,love being part of team,love being outside running around.
    If I had boys they probably would be playing rugby.
    Kids get injured in most sports but if they abide by the rules and are fit this also helps ‘protect’ them to a degree.

  4. J1 and J2 are both currently playing RugbyTots. J1 started playing 2 weeks ago and she is loving it. J2 has has been playing for 2 terms now and is thrilled when he wakes up and realises its Rugby day.
    They’re 4 and 5 (nearly 6)

    I think sport is very important in the lives of everyone. I’m not saying that everyone has to be the best, play for the national team or anything like that. But everybody should participate in a sport of some kind. Whether its walking, swimming, rugby, dancing… You name it.
    We will always encourage our sprogs to be involved in sport/s.

    I have no issue with rugby. If my boys want to play rugby, great! Its a really awesome sport that they can learn a lot from. Boys are physical and need an outlet. But they can get that outlet from other sports too.
    If my girls want to play tag rugby, touch rugby, awesome. I’m not too sure about girls and full contact. But if they wanted to give it a try, I wouldn’t stop them. Would just be harder to watch 😉

    Kids should play as long as they’re enjoying it. If they sign up for a term and get halfway through and hate it, I’ll make them finish the term. They need to learn commitment imo. But I won’t make them play it the following term.

    Just have fun and see where he goes with it 🙂

  5. We are very big on sport – partially because hubby was a big sportsman (me not at all) but also because we believe it is needed to teach a lot of things – team spirit, how to win, how to loose and provides the much needed exercise to have active lives and avoid overweight. The only sport our kids HAVE to do is swim – because we believe it is a life skill and also because it is one of the best ways to exercise untill you totally can not even get into the pool some day at say 100. So the boys do Judo (L have to for his low muscle tone but H did really well in Judo and we believe it is great for muscle development and a lot more) and PLayball for general development. They also do rugby as you know but in our school it is BUlletjie rugby (thus tag, no tackle ruigby) untill grade 3. By then I guess they are much stronger. A plays both netball and hockey and would love to fit tennis in but the money and time is just not there. And then there’s the horse riding which resulted due to L needing horse theraphy and us believing in fareness.

    In all honesty our school’s rugby is suffering a bit due to the huge popularity of hockey (as is the netball). Last year I had to hold my heart when those grad 1 kids were hitting hockey sticks EVERYWHERE! Gosh, very scary -way more than tackling someone. BUt I will not let my daughter play rugby. Full stop!

    I guess there are plusses and minusses to all. I do believe all boys can do with some rough and tumble but then Judo may be better than rugby. However, I would let him play for a few years and see where it goes. Remember by grade 4 they have to reduce what they do as schhol work gets more so we let them do lots now in order to then decide what they prefer.

  6. I’m very glad that my boys don’t like rugby or the idea of getting tackled so they don’t want to do it. I really would prefer that they didn’t play rugby. Luckily they are both soccer-crazy. Kiran (4) does Soccer Starz which is great for that age. Devan (8) has joined a soccer club (his school doesn’t offer sport) and loves it. This year Kiran also does karate and Devan does Playball. I really like playball because they learn all the different ball skills and karate is great because of the discipline and the controlled outlet of all that aggression that boys have. We make sure they do two sporting activities per term.

  7. We don’t do rugby! I enjoy watching it but don’t want my kids doing it. A school friend of mine had a brother who played rugby and we were watching him one year and he came off the field with stud marks all over his face. I decided then and there my child would never play rugby. There are a million other sports they can do.

    Cameron does swimming, cricket and soccer and is apparently doing shotput next term. He is in the A team for them all and loves it. The more he can fit in the better.

    Kiara hates sports! She does dancercise and swimming but only because I force her!

  8. Adam plays rugby and soccer (on the same day!) and cricket. Kate does art classes, Soetlief and Tina Cowley. She doesn’t want to do sport, she isn’t any good at it. Kate clearly got my sporting genes. I wish she would play sport as I think there are great benefits but I won’t force her. (Max is naughty as a permanent sport).

  9. I think that rugby has become worse over the years…more and more children get hurt. I watched our little Lukas (age 5 soon) play Rugga last weekend and it scared met that little ones that age can be so rough and fierce. This is something my children will have to make decisions about soon, and I am glad I am not in their shoes.

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