18th Sep, 2019

EDITOR'S COMMENT: Just let them play

EDITOR’S COMMENT: THIS week, experts called for tackling and scrums to be banned from rugby union physical education lessons.

Experts stated that ministers should ”put the interests of the child before those of corporate professional rugby unions’.

I couldn’t disagree more if I tried.

Just let them play. Simple.

If you abolish tackling in rugby during physical education lessons, you may as well scrap rugby education all together.

Where next – no hard ball in cricket? The removal of studs in football? Reducing the distance students can run in athletics?

Health and safety is important. But maintaining a level of ‘physical’ education is vital. Rarely to we see serious injuries on the school sports field.

Rugby is a physical sport – but teachers are there to educate, lead by example, and provide a safe working – or playing – environment all the same.

My fear following the publication isn’t with the parents whose children currently play sport, it’s the parents considering to get their kids involved.

Imagine being a parent of a youngster and reading that tackling is dangerous – of course some will now be hesitant to send their child onto a rugby field. That is wrong.

Sport is a massive part of my life. I took part in football, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf, cycle speedway, kayaking – you name it – as a kid and continue to participate in competitive sport.

I hope this isn’t the start of a progressive ‘downward’ trend in what we consider health and safety to be in modern physical education.

Shaun Reynolds, Observer Sports Editor. 

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