Rugby: The end of an era

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.

PicMonkey rugby Collage


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. It sounds like you’ve made the best decision and really all thought it through collectively. It sounds so unfair about them removing your son constantly and I would have been a bit grumpy at the coach I think.

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    • I think it is the right decision for us at the moment, even though it feels slightly strange. I was grumpy with the coach in my head, but never brave enough to say anything! I wished they would just say ‘we’ve got too many players this week, so you don’t need to come along’. We would all rather have had a Sunday morning to do something different than spend it freezing on the off-chance he might get to play for a few minutes, but probably wouldn’t!

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  2. Its a tough call to make, one we’ve had to do a few times down the road. Once was with football (he’s since gone back) and the other with swimming (he changed to a team that gave him more training attention). When you’ve invested time and you know the kids have enjoyed it, its hard to make a call. But you know when their hearts aren’t in it and it sounds like you’ve done the right thing here.

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    • Thanks very much, I think you’re right! We’ve never really given anything up before, so it feels like a big deal. The only thing they’ve given up is swimming lessons, when they’ve reached the end of a course.

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  3. Sounds like you have all made the right decision for the boys and the family. I know how hard it is when the kids want to give something up. My son went through Beavers, Cubs and then went to Scouts for 6 months and gave it up. I hated him doing it at the time, but looking back it was for the best and his heart wasn’t in it anymore x

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    • That’s good to know that he made the right decision. It seems weird giving up rugby as we’ve done it for so long, but I suspect it may be the right decision for us too in the long run. x

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  4. Wow, that’s a big change after so many years! We’ve been doing rugby for just over a year and they’re still enjoying it, but I can see after five or more years you have to weigh up the benefits. Certainly sounds like a bit of a rush to go from rugby straight to football. Now we are getting more homework in Year 3 I have a taste of things to come, in terms of trying to fit in school work with all the sport. I hope you enjoy having your Sunday mornings back. Maybe a lie-in for mummy?

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    • I wish! It’s so many years since I’ve had a lie-in, I’ve forgotten how to do it! To be honest, I like being up before everyone else and I enjoy the peace 🙂 It is weird without rugby, but I think we’ve probably made the right decision for now at least. I hope your boys continue to enjoy it for a few more years yet!

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  5. funnily enough, we are just starting with rugby as I have fought against it for years, fiercely determined that I was going to keep Sundays as a family day but now they do play and they love it more than football so we are going to run with it for now. There does come a point though when you do have to reassess everything, R does a lot and sometimes I feel like my life revolves around his extra-curricular stuff.

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    • Enjoy it! It’s great that they love it more than football. Sometimes I think you find that having a regular sport helps to make a day a family day, but I think giving up for now was the right decision for us.

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  6. What a big change. Best of luck with the Rugby at the new school and enjoy your Sunday’s. I think it is a shame that all children who want to play don’t get an equal chance. My son only started playing when he went up to secondary and I think gave it up because he just ended up in the subs/C team and it didn’t make him feel very good. As you say it is a big commitment too as you are pretty much giving up weekends – which is our only proper family time.

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