Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 04:45 pm

Children today live in a very different world to the youthful world of their parents, but some things stay the same …

Such as the notion that playing sport is good for you. Make the sport rugby, and you’ll see the benefits in many ways. Here are five reasons why.

When I grew up in the ’90s, we played every sport possible. Our parents were grateful too. Sport kept us outdoors and out of their hair.

Rugby was my favourite sport growing up. It was a big part of my youth and the upbringing of many of my friends.

So it worries me that more and more parents today seem hesitant, or downright against their sons playing the sport at school nowadays.

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Sure, it is a contact sport, and it is more dangerous than football or cricket. But depriving a child of rugby on that basis seems a little short-sighted.

Because I am so passionate on this subject, here are five reasons why I think you should encourage your son to play rugby:

1. It teaches you discipline

To do well in rugby you need to be fit and strong, you need to respect your coach and captain, the rules of the game and the ref on the field of play. You have to put the team first, and often your personal interests second. These are worthwhile lessons growing up, and sadly not always a given away from the sports field.

2. It’s safer than people make out

I don’t think rugby has ever been safer than it is today. With changes in scrum laws, almost overkill emphasis on not lifting the player in the tackle and a general dim view on any kinds of foul play, the bad injuries are fewer in number. Your boy will get the odd bump and bruise, and so will the other kids, as rugby is a great leveller.

 3. You build life-long friends

There isn’t a sport out there that bonds kids more. You are essentially going out to do battle with your mates each time, and the challenges that this presents forges real friendships. 

4. It releases frustrations

Kids have so much to deal with growing up, especially with social media and academic stresses. Letting it all out on the rugby field is a positive way of balancing all this, and it makes them physically and mentally stronger at the same time. 

5. It is physically good for them

The older I get, the more I realise how important exercise is for you. Where does this get taught to kids though? Rugby is a good start, as you have to be fit and strong to succeed, and the fitter and stronger your child is, the less time he will spend at the doctor.

There are so many things that will interest young boys, and I they must all be tried. Rugby will always be top of the pile in my opinion. As a parent you may wince and squirm a bit on the sidelines, but they will be okay.

We have become a little too over protective of our kids. That is understandable, as things are different to when we were growing up.

But let them play. And let them play rugby.

Article by: Ben Karpinski for Change Exchange.