Why Rugby is Good for Children – a Mother’s Point of ViewOctober 27 2014
As the mother of three boys, I’ve spent years on the touchline in all weathers, washed tonnes of stinky Rugby training kit (top tip for newbies: run when the coach is looking for a volunteer to clean the team’s kit) and even waited in A & E for my sons to get patched up. Nevertheless, I have concluded that rugby is a very good thing for children.Hormones
Some years ago, in an attempt to pick up some parenting tips, I read (alright, skimmed)
All those lovely male hormones that were rushing through their bloodstream found a natural outlet on the rugby pitch – they could happily charge into their friends, hurtling each other onto the grounds without fear of being sent to the headmaster. In fact, they’d even be praised for their bravado!Team spirit
My boys have loved rugby from the very first day. I don’t know if it’s some tribal thing, but belonging to a rugby team gave them a great sense of camaraderie that other sports still never have. The kit was ALL important – they had to have everything, from the skins and shoulder guards outwards to the various team shirts, scrum caps. You name it, we’ve had it. Being part of a team and supporting each other through triumphs and flops has helped to them to build a good healthy attitude towards their fellow men which is such an important lesson and stays with them forever.Fitness
They have played (oh yes and I have supported, more willingly some days than others) in all weathers. Being Welsh, that means hurricane conditions more often than not! This willingness to be out for their teams with no sense of self-preservation means that they are really pretty fit specimens and knowing that they will be facing a stern coach the first day of term in September means that they even train during the Summer. Obviously these paragons of fitness also sit in front of their Play Stations, but when their friends come over they spend time outside throwing and kicking a rugby ball about too and work up a sweat.Healthy eating
As they have got older, nutrition has also come onto the agenda and they are genuinely interested in eating correctly to give themselves the best chance of being picked for the A/1st teams and performing to the best of their abilities. Through magazines like Rugby World they read about their sporting heroes and learn about the enormous commitment top athletes make to their nutrition and fitness regimes. My older two boys have used the internet to help them with their fitness plans and it is all down to playing rugby from a young age.The future
My eldest son has just left home to go to university (oh God, here come the tears again) and one of the first clubs he joined was the rugby club. He goes to the gym most days too to keep up his fitness. So although I live in fear and trepidation of what he’ll get up to in all the other hours of his student life, at least one major habit has been so instilled throughout his childhood, so I know he will at least remain fit and happy.
As for me, I say yay to rugby! In these days of childhood obesity, binge drinking and in my opinion, a more aggressive society, rugby has been a fabulous friend to this household – I hope it is to yours too.