The rugby season started last Sunday – under 15s and under 12s. But something unusual happened. We didn’t go.
We’ve been going to rugby every Sunday for eight months of the year since the boys were at under 10s and under 7s and, just like that, we stopped going.
We’d talked about it during last season, but I never thought it would really happen. The boys didn’t have the best 2014/15 season – my eldest who never played much more than half a game anyway, was being made substitute for entire games. When you’ve travelled to an an away game, only to stand there freezing and watching your team-mates play for an hour, it’s not a lot of fun. My younger son was a substitute more than he’d been in previous seasons too. He plays on the wing and it seems that his position became the one where they gave the new boys a run out. So they’d take him off just to let someone else have a go. Of course it’s fair to give everyone a go, but to take the same person off every time? Not so much. Particularly when that person had been there longer than pretty much everyone else.
So we’d talked about maybe giving up, but I thought we’d just get up on the first Sunday of the season and trot off there as we usually did.I bought them new gum shields ready for the new season (and for school, they won’t exactly go to waste).
But on the evening before the new season started, my husband said he thought it was a waste of my eldest’s time going back. He’d been pushed so far out of the squad last season, what was the point – giving up Sunday mornings, getting cold, paying to be there etc etc if he’s not going to play. He is getting more and more into his hiking and it would be far more beneficial for him to go for a good walk on a Sunday morning.
Which left my younger son. Was there any point in him going? It certainly makes it easier for one boy to give up if the other already has. It means the whole family can stop the huge commitment to rugby.
Maybe there was a point in him going, but my younger son has a lot on his plate. Football is, and has been for a few years now, more important to him than rugby. He enjoys it more and he’s better at it, plus he gets to play with kids from his old school and get coached by his own dad. He got on OK with the boys at rugby, but they were all there with friends from their own (very posh) schools. He’s not the most confident of kids, so he didn’t fit in as well as he might have done.
In the under 12s season, football is played on a Sunday afternoon. So he would be finishing playing rugby at 12pm, rushing home and eating and be out on the football pitch just after 1 ready for a 2pm kick-off. That’s hard, but throw in away games and it becomes almost impossible, both logistically and in terms of him getting too tired or not having time to eat.
Plus, he’s at his new school. His new school does a lot of extra-curricular stuff and there’s a lot of homework. If he makes it onto the first team for rugby he will be playing rugby on Saturdays anyway. He’s auditioning for the school play too.
Something had to give. And that something was Sunday morning rugby.
It’s the end of an era and I miss it. It might have been a hassle sometimes (and it was always VERY cold), but it was what we did as a family on a Sunday morning.
I hope that giving up proves to be the right thing for the boys and the whole family. I hope we use that extra time wisely and that my eldest goes for his hikes.
And if it doesn’t work out? We might just go back to rugby.