I’ve just been speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield about Allyson Pollock and Graham Kirkwood from the Institute of Health at Newcastle University urging the government to remove the tackle and other forms of “harmful contact” from school rugby. They argued that removing collision is likely to “reduce and mitigate the risk of injury” and said governments have a duty to “ensure the safety of children”.
But World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, has raised doubts over the data on which Pollock and Kirkwood based their claims, made in the British Medical Journal. “World Rugby and its member unions take player safety very seriously and proactively pursue an evidence-based approach to reduce the risk of injury at all levels,” a spokesman said.
I am a huge fan of rugby & my husband was a Rugby Referee & my son was named after Will Carling ( well….. and my Grandad too!) and I think it’s all about finding that balance.
It comes back to the Crucial ‘C’s of Capability, Competence and Courage.
Children need to be allowed to make mistakes, get things wrong and learn from their mistakes, but they also need excellent coaching, supervised sessions and sensible risk taking.
As a former Deputy Head teacher I think having specialist P.E teachers is essential, organising children in weight categories, not age” as an alternative (a system used previously in New Zealand) and offering children the opportunities to join Rugby Clubs is a wonderful way to encourage them to stay active, join a community of like minded people and socialise away from screens.