Rugby courses for kids
Rugby is a team sport played with an oval ball that may be kicked, carried, or passed from one player to another. Points are scored by either kicking the ball above and through the crossbar of the opponents’ goalposts or grounding the ball behind the opposing team's goal line.
Rugby came into existence when a pupil at a school in Rugby, Warwickshire, Britain, broke the rules by catching the ball and running with it rather than throwing or kicking it. The first official game rules were written in 1845 and rugby has grown rapidly in popularity ever since. In 1895, rugby split into two factions – rugby union (the original version of 15 players a team) rugby league (with only 13 players a team, allowing for a larger number of substitutions, different scoring and allowing players to roll the ball back to a team mate after a tackle).
Across the Asia Pacific, the top rugby teams come from New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Japan, however rugby is also popular in places such as Hong Kong where it’s been played for over 150 years. Hong Kong is best known for its development of Rugby Sevens, an abbreviated form of rugby involving two teams of seven players, and there rugby is ranked the third most popular team sport behind basketball and football.
Children can start to learn rugby as early as 2 years of age once they are confident walkers although competitive rugby starts with the under 7s age category. Research has shown that participation before the age of 6 years leads to a big advantage in skill development. It is recommended that young children start by learning tag rugby which is a non-contact form of the sport. Contact rugby can be introduced to children as early as 7-8 years and most kids will be playing full contact rugby by age 15 (subject to armpit tackling height restrictions).
The benefits of rugby for children include
- enhancing cognitive development
- improving social skills and teamwork
- physical benefits such as muscle and bone strengthening
- protecting against future cardiovascular disease, cancer and metabolic diseases
- encouraging the practice of an active lifestyle for adulthood
- increasing engagement levels and confidence
- better quality sleep which improves a child’s resiliency and concentration
- learning how to deal with success and rebound from failure, and build character when participating at the level of competitive rugby