You hear your child scream from the living room. You rush to the sound and find him panting with a look of resignation on his face. A crowd roars from the television. He was watching rugby and his team just lost. You feel a mixture of relief and panic.
So, your child has become a fan of rugby — a sport you know nothing about. Good news! This article should help you understand the sport and just how exactly you can enjoy it with your little one.
First, there is the matter of dispelling a couple of rugby myths.
— Rugby and American Football share some similarities but the latter involves more physical contact — thus the need for protective pads and helmets.
— If you’re worried about your child getting knocked to the ground when playing, just remember that touch rugby is different from tackle rugby. Although you’ve probably only seen formal matches with tackle rugby, children’s games are usually played with touch rugby. As the names imply, the former involves tackling, while the latter only requires minimal physical contact.
Now, here are some reasons rugby is good for your kid.
— Rugby is good physical exercise. A recent report by the National Health Service (NHS) looked at over a million 10 and 11-year-olds and found that 20.2 percent were obese. Letting your child play this physical sport will help maintain their BMI. Incidentally, children who are physically active are also likely to develop better body image.
— Rugby, as a team sport, promotes healthy social interactions. Children make a lot of friends during their playtime. The social skills they develop on the field will stay with them wherever they go.
— Because it is competitive in nature, playing rugby helps build self-esteem and confidence. The sport also teaches the value winning and losing.
— Physically active children perform better in classes. A growing field of study in the US are finding links between physical activity in children to increased academic performance.
— Rugby teaches kids about safety. No, they don’t wear pads in rugby, but that just means they learn more about keeping themselves and other players safe.
Now that you’re convinced rugby is a good idea, these tips should help you enjoy it with them.
— Learn more about the sport. Understand the rules and learn the lingo. Immerse yourself in the sport, too. Watch games with your child. Read up on rugby in your free time. The next thing you know you’ll be having long debates with your kid about plays and who should be Player of the Year.
— Support your child’s team. If your child is participating in games, show your support by showing up, cheering, and maybe bringing along some snacks. You can also help other parents understand what’s happening with your newly acquired knowledge of the game.
— Keep your child interested and engaged. Buy them gear. Take them to see matches. Subscribe to newsletters or an online rugby magazine. Keep them playing.
Rugby can be rewarding for children and parents alike. It gets kids moving, and gives you a chance to make the most of those precious years left. Next time your kid screams while watching rugby on TV, make sure you’re sitting right next to him cheering, too.