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15 reasons why children SHOULD play Rugby Union

Getting kids off the sofa and onto the rugby pitch brings a wide variety of physical, mental and social skills which will bode well for them as they reach adulthood and beyond.

And obviously, we would say that. But in order to prove our point, we’ve compiled no less than 15 reasons why kids need to grow up playing rugby union.

1. Improve physical health

Forgive us for starting with the obvious, but rugby brings physical health benefits to anyone who takes to the field – and children are no different.

2. Develop social skills

Developing social skills is another huge part of parenting, and one that again needs to be developed at a young age if the benefits are to be reaped in the future.

3. They need to lose

Because it is character building, because it’s good practice for life, because he will get over it and he needs to know that.


4. They need to win

Because it’s bonding, because it feels good, because he needs to know that there are rewards for effort.

5. Equal Opportunities 

Unlike just about any other team sport, rugby is about all players having the same opportunity to run with the ball, pass the ball, and play defense.

6. Build self-esteem and confidence

Regularly engaging in sports can help subtly boost your child’s self-esteem. This happens as the child sets small goals on the field, such as perfecting a skill, and achieves them.


7. Learn valuable life-lessons

All sports have lessons that can be taken from the field and applied to real life. But rugby has lessons that can’t be found in any other game – we’re not talking about the standard generics of “teamwork” and “playing hard.” We’re talking about the preparation for life that can only be found on the rugby pitch.

8. Positive Role Models

It’s quite likely your kids will discover positive role models in coaches and older players

9. Make lifelong friends

10. Breed academic success

It’s hard to believe that what your child does on the court can impact what they do in the classroom, but it does. Children who were involved with at least one sport were more likely to get better grades suggests a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine.

11. Safety. No, really—safety!

Rugby players don’t wear pads. And it’s a collision sport. But safety is a huge part of the sport and culture of rugby.

12. They’ll experience the incredible feeling of being part of a team

13. They will respect others, regardless of their decisions

Before respect for authority completely vanishes in the world, the last place it will be found is on the rugby field. When the referee makes a decision we disagree with, kids still call him “sir” and don’t talk back.

14. It helps to reduce stress

Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

15. It could even go somewhere…


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7 Responses

    1. Billy adams

      There is no ideal answer where children are concerned. I and my brother were well above average heights as children ( and still are as we approach fifty) and would have ended up playing with children much older than ourselves. I’m not convinced we’d have been emotionally secure enough to compete in this environment with a group of children who were not our peers.

  1. Andy Smith

    I have 2 daughters, and the constant reference to he, his and him, and the referee being ‘Sir’ are not encouraging girls into the sport. Other than that I agree completely, and would extend to other team field sports too. Except football 🙂

  2. George McDonald

    I’m 48 and have been involved with rugby since i was 4 years old. And almost everything i needed to know about life i learned on the rugby field, be it playing on Saturday or training Tuesday and Thursday.

  3. Greig

    I think it leaves out a few:
    1. Understanding physicality: As a rugby coach the first lesson I teach the kids is how to fall on the ground. Most adults I know would not know how to do this without breaking their arm. Learning how to run, tackle and fall without injury is a fundamental skill, better to learn this a young age.
    2. Learning to control aggression: Better to learn how to avoid violence and aggression on a rugby field than outside a nightclub at 3am
    3. Respect for authority: Better to learn how to accept the decision of a sole arbiter at the hands of a rugby referee, than from a judge in a court room.

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