A school rugby coach shares his views.
Rugby is a popular choice for school sport in our country. While the Springbok rugby team represents our country in the World Cup, many school rugby players are rife with team spirit and enthusiasm for our country's popular sport.
When parents are involved in deciding what sport a child will play at school a number of things are taken into consideration:
Read more: SA's top rugby schools
We chatted to Kyle Rinquest, a WetPups rugby assistant coach, about why rugby is a good option when considering a team sport for your child:
Why would you recommend rugby as a school sport?
I'd recommend rugby as a school sport for its team building skills and more importantly as a discipline for kids.
What equipment/gear is needed to play rugby at school?
Even at school level protective gear is needed. At a more senior level players consider it optional to use protective gear, but at a junior level, given the physical nature of the sport,a gum guard is essential and a scrum cap can be used to reduce the risk of concussion. Other equipment such as shoulder and leg protection is also available.
How can we get our kids involved in supporting our country’s rugby team and getting into the spirit of things?
Well it could all depend heavily on if and how the school creates awareness in the sport. By getting as many schools as possible to play rugby as a school sport this will increase the number of kid (and parent) supporters to an even larger portion of the nation.
What values can school rugby teach kids?
Rugby's value system is a big one and the camaraderie it creates amongst the kids is special too. I'd say that discipline and friendship are very big attributes in rugby and the values that these attributes bring to a child's life is tremendous.
Parents worry that rugby might make their child aggressive. What are your thoughts on this?
Rugby is first and foremost a contact sport and with that comes a sense of aggression. Personally, I think a lot of how a player's aggression is managed boils down to how they are coached,especially at school level. Parenting can play a vital role in this to help keep it controlled as well.
What advice would you give to parents and kids who want to pursue rugby as a professional sport?
Firstly, don't neglect your school work. Train hard and practice rugby outside of school too. Kids can attend rugby clinics which are given by professionals. At a senior school level there is also an opportunity for kids to work towards accomplishing a possible career professionally. Never stop training hard.
In what way can a team sport like rugby enhance a child’s social skills?
Rugby is very much a social sport and with that comes the amazing friendships made through social interaction. A sport like rugby can better a child's sense of self worth, confidence, discipline and overall talent as a person.
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