help! son developing a fear of playing rugby

(77 Posts)
Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 15:27:59

Hope someone has a suggestion.
Son yr 6 of prep school, started there yr 5, no previous experience of contact rugby, games master assured me that they do gentle introduction and coaching, but in reality he coaches the A team in lessons and leaves the rest to a gap year student. The bullying got ridiculous, boys using the game as an excuse to kick, hit and punch. School dealt with it. This term, he hatwa the rugby season with a passion, yesterday the other little charmers spent the whole lesson making monkey noises as him and 2 friends who also don't really understand what they are supposed to be doing.
How do I raise this with the games master? Hes had new boys crying, being sent home as frozen to the bone and is not coaching at all, so these boys have no opportunity to learn how to play properly and enjoy the strategy, instead they and my son are simply becoming scared of the thinly veiled agression and violence.

creamteas Thu 10-Jan-13 15:31:03

And you are paying for this?

I would go to the Head and get them to fix it or move school.

motherstongue Thu 10-Jan-13 16:13:33

I'm with cream teas on this one. Speak to the school and get them to sort it out without delay. My DS also started prep at year 5, he hated rugby with a passion and it was making him very unhappy so we spoke to the school and they let him do something else instead. By the way he wasn't the only one who did something else so there was no stigma attached. My DS still deplores rugby, now aged 14 but will play but only if he is assured of being in the bottom team so everything is for fun and no one takes it seriously.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 16:15:23

Move school. If this happens in rugby it will happen innother, less obvious things too.

MyCatsRule Thu 10-Jan-13 16:15:35

Agree with everything creamteas said. Go to the head. The games 'master' is clearly a crap teacher.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 16:17:23

And what do you mean "how do you raise this with the games master?" By going bin and saying that this is completely unacceptable and what is he goingbto do about it?

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 16:54:00

Thanks, have gone to the deputy head. They don't offer any alternative sport at this time of year so the only option is to sign him off games completely which for a whole term is a lot of sitting around.
The games master isn't very approachable, thinks my ds should get his backside into gear and is fond of the 'get on with it' philosophy of life and reminds me of an army sergent major!
Should say that the rest of school life is much enjoyed by ds so its literally the games master not scaling the game down enough for complete beginners, they've achieved this with football which they all love and would prefer to do instead!

YellowFlyingPineapple Thu 10-Jan-13 17:11:28

Could he get some extra coaching so he actually knows the rules/what he is suppose to be doing and can then throw himself into it before definitely deciding he doesn't like it?

Personally I wouldn't favour my DS missing out on a sport that has only been played for a season and a term at the most? Rugby is about so much more than just the game, very good for developing team mentality for example and if he goes to Independent school after Prep he has many matches to play I would suggest.

Games Master sounds a little lacking though from what you have said so I would approach it from that point of view of him needing to focus on all players not just the stars.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 17:38:42

Thanks, have asked if they are willing to do a 'back to basics' style coaching because I think if he can understand the game rather than being petrified of big lugs falling on him we might get somewhere. Hes not very tall for his age so a lot of his year group are much bigger and more confident than he is. Will see what they say and make a decision from there.

YellowFlyingPineapple Thu 10-Jan-13 17:42:44

How about a scrum cap, and some body padding/armour if he doesn't have it? It helped a few boys that play with my DS. Gives them a bit more confidence to throw themselves into the game I have found.

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 17:46:02

Opting out isn't really an option , he will be side-lined by his peers if he doesn't join in at all , good or bad. Don't underestimate the social side of being in a team at whatever level. If he wants to learn but isn't sure of the basics could eh join a local club or coaching session ? ds' prep did offer alternatives (hockey, sailing, outdoor pursuits) which suited him better as he is dyspraxic and can't follow ball or team sports well. At secondary he hasn't had to do rugby or hockey at all (joined Year9) but not all will allow this.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 17:49:37

Hes got the body padding, the caps apparently are not 'cool'(!) There aren't any local clubs that I can actually get him to, so really need the school to help out with this.

timidviper Thu 10-Jan-13 17:53:19

We had this sort of problems with male PE teachers at DSs independant senior school. I think the private school competitive, team-playing all-round ethos attracts some teachers with very neanderthal attitudes. At DSs school it was very much an "all boys together" attitude which drove me up the wall.

You are doing the right thing in tackling it, leaving it will just allow the situation to worsen.

iseenodust Thu 10-Jan-13 17:54:05

is judo out of school an option to build his confidence ?

scurryfunge Thu 10-Jan-13 17:56:26

Timidviper, I agree -some private schools attract unqualified or poorly qualified P.E. teachers as the schools will often recruit based on the teachers own expertise or high level representation and not on their teaching ability.

Amerryscot Thu 10-Jan-13 17:57:23

My DS didn't enjoy rugby at his prep school. We didn't intervene as we think it is good to persevere through difficulties and to just get on with things that aren't enjoyable (a life skill).

When he went to his senior school, he started to enjoy rugby.

The difference was that he was a forward (flanker) in prep school, and a back (14) in senior school, where there was a lot less contact.

Perhaps you could suggest a different position?

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 18:12:12

Having just spoken to ds, he knows how to tackle, that a ruck is basically a fight (!!!!) and a scrum is slightly less of a fight than a ruck (!!) He has not been taught anything about rules, positions or anything else. No wonder hes struggling! Ganes master has been at the school for over 10 years, think because their match results are so good the coaching when kids come into the school late/lower level are being neglected.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 18:30:46

My ds played tag rugby in year 5 and 6- that really helped him to play contact once he got to secondary school. Is it possible to suggest that to the games teacher? Just a few games might help the shakier ones catch up?

But ti's not the rugby so much as the behaviour of the other boys I would want to be tackled.(see what I did there?). What happened about the monkey noises and stuff?

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 18:36:35

How keen is he to participate ? Do they do coincide age groups games sessions (dd's was for Year3/4 or Year5/6), could he (and maybe a few others ) work with the year below who may still be playing touch rugby rather than contact. If he really wants to learn to join in I think you might have to find something out of school, preferably where others go - it will raise his profile and generate alternative friendships - or do school run extra training sessions or half term courses. Maybe someone could liftshare if logistics are tricky.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 18:36:35

I'm asking the deputy head about the noises as they were being taught by a student who only comes in 1 afternoon a week, so looks like the supervision needs sorting when the games master is busy. They stop tag rugby at the end of yr 4 at this school, would have much preferred tag rugby, I know a lot of the year 5 parents were shocked as no one told them this!

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 18:43:44

The games lessons are year 5/6 together or year 5-8 all together. Theres some very tall/bulky year 5's and 6's!!! He doesn't want to play at all, would much prefer to be in the garden but hes got to get on with it to a certain extent.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 18:45:36

I honestly think the behaviour is more important than the rugby. He is being bullied. The school should be addressing that as a matter of urgency.

ithaka Thu 10-Jan-13 18:47:58

I would get him out of there. Rugby can be an extremely dangerous sport and the gamesmaster does not sound suited to supervising sufficiently to ensure the safety of the participants.

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 18:56:02

I'd agree the sessions sound poorly supervised and would suggest that there is a h and s issue . Do bear in mind you weren't there and to a bystander it may seem more aggressive than it is. However you need to separate that from your ds' reluctance , which I think you've also mentioned in the context of his next school. One certainly won't help the other but he, at some point, will need to make the best of things.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 19:00:52

He has been persistently bullied for two sessions. Why does he "have to make the best of things"?

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 19:02:47

I mean in terms of learning and playing the game itself, but obviously not in those circumstances.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 19:08:51


The other bullying has been dealt with properly and ds and the others have been given guidance on the difference between a bit of friendly joshing about and outright bullying, so the next school situation is thankfully looking much brighter. I agree theres a certain amount to be got on with, and have said as much to the teachers, so if together we can sort this bit out ds may even prove to have a 'rugby gene' lol

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 10-Jan-13 19:36:46

That's rubbish - their only answer is sit out? And your fees are how much? I can't understand why you're not more cross tbh. There's no reason to stop tag rugby if the kids are not being properly coached.

What do other parents think?

I think a single sport option for such a long stretch is a very poor offer.

jo164 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:35:02

If it is a fairly small school then only having 1 sport in Games lessons would be fairly common. I teach PE in a Prep where 5 and 6 come together for Games lessons - I take girls and my colleague takes the boys, whether that be for hockey/netball or rugby/football. There simply aren't anymore staff available to teach any alternative activities. We do however do a different activity in PE lessons. We only teach Tag rugby due to the disparity in children's ability/size/enthusiasm by the time they reach 10 yrs old. Those that have played for several years and have attended clubs etc will be quite some way ahead of others in the same group.
Having said that lots of other Prep schools do play contact rugby - but it should only be played under the supervision of a qualified teacher/coach as accidents can happen far more readily in a contact game. In your position I would approach the school on the grounds of H and S asking what qualification the student has to coach contact rugby. I see no reason why the children not in the 'A' team couldn't continue to play Tag - particularly as it would be a far more suitable activity to be supervised by a student. Having said that I wouldn't be happy that my child wasn't getting any input from the qualified member of staff - it is his job to coach/teach all the children within the school - not just the best. If they have too many children for him to teach as one group the school should be employing another qualified coach or teacher for the rest, not an 18 yr old from Australia!

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 20:57:20

Thanks jo, that is what happens in ds school, they do football September - end of November, Rugby December - half term and then Cricket, then athletics. They normally have the games master and a mix of other subject teachers when they do football, so I'm confused why the more dangerous sport isn't being supervised to the same or more. PE as you say is a different subject and tends to be inside (gym, hockey etc) and is on a seperate day, he isn't the most physical of kids but has managed to navigate his way through adequately on the other sports. He has a very rational fear of being fallen on by a much larger, heavier boy which at the moment the school haven't even thought about let alone addressed so I think its going to have to be a health and safety line I take with this. I had reason to see the games master last season because ds lost his gum shield (as they do) which I asked his advice on as it was the last week of term. They have notices everywhere that say boys will not be allowed to play without a gum shield. This guy told me not to worry as they wouldn't be doing anything other than passing the ball... 20 minutes after my conversation, he pushed ds into a ruck of year 7 boys- believe me he knows exactly how angry I can get! I'm waiting for a response and now have a clearer idea how to phrase my ds needs in this (hes on a very hefty bursary, not that it should make any difference to how they deal with safety but it can be a bit daunting getting it right)

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 21:13:39

please don't let the bursary thing stop you! They have a duty to keep your son safe and happy- and they aren't.

I would definitely go with the safety line. Rugby carries a risk, and it's important that children playing it are taught how to play it properly. I don't think the bursary is relevant. I'd ask the HT how they are ensuring safety during the lessons if the main teacher isn't watching, and it's a gap year student supervising.

Personally, I'd insist that they come up with some other sport to play f they can't show that they are capable of ensuring the children are safe when playing rugby.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 21:35:49

And the behqviour of the other boys! I can't understand why people are glossing over this bit!

JoanByers Thu 10-Jan-13 21:48:11

It sounds like your son's school is pretty awful, tbh, they haven't helped you with senior school choices, per your previous thread, and now it seems they aren't preventing bullying.

JoanByers Thu 10-Jan-13 21:51:16

And btw I think they should treat your son well, as it seems he is a candidate for the RGS, which will reflect well on the school if he gets in, so they won't want him to leave, the bursary not withstanding.

CaseyShraeger Thu 10-Jan-13 21:56:57

There are two separate issues here (a) the bullying and (b) that he's not actually being taught rugby, just vaguely and inadequately supervised during a lesson billed as "rugby".

The school needs to be tackling both of these.

Amerryscot Thu 10-Jan-13 22:01:06

I'm not convinced that many people commenting here have an understanding of Games in an independent school.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 22:02:34

Thanks Joan, its weird navigating a system I don't really understand and the senior school advice thing largely happened because ex husband decided to go out of his way to block their suggestions, which I found out the true extent of after I posted that thread. lol, if he passes is probably the operative word, much celebration if he does.
Think I need to get a bit more proactive, have a tendency to be scared stiff of headmasters due largely to bullying ex and state school ones who were truly dreadful, so got to get over my own baggage.

11112222 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:02:47

Well, I hate watching ds play rugby as I worry about him getting hurt. Even if their school plays (relatively) safely, other schools they play against may be rougher. I hate it.
Sounds a similar set-up to our school, inc. games master, but during games lessons, the A B C/D teams are coached by different members of staff with gap year students helping out. They also buy in ex pro's to coach too.

Agree boys behaviour needed dealing with and monitoring. Re the games master, he sounds just like many harsh games masters.

I understand how you feel re the bursary - ds has one too. It does make you think twice before steaming in. What do other parents think? Maybe you could rally a bit of support and get one of them to complain instead with you (and others) backing them up???

DS finished rugby now and onto football this term thank goodness. Not long till cricket.......

JoanByers Thu 10-Jan-13 22:23:43

BTW is it possible for you to watch him play once or twice?

He should be in the 3rd team or whatever it is, and be playing against other schools regularly I would have thought, you should definitely be able to go along to watch that.

Unfortunately if you are pathetically bad at sport there will be a tendency for teasing, but that shouldn't be accepted by the school and you should complain about it.

CaseyShraeger Thu 10-Jan-13 22:29:30

Thinking ahead a little (and given your presumed general area from what you said on the other thread) you could maybe think about sending him on one of Harlequins' 3-5 day rugby (non-residential) camps in the summer holidays -- they have various dates and locations and IME the coaches there are very good and he'd certainly leave with a better understanding of the game and with some practice of key skills before going into next year's rugby term.

JoanByers Thu 10-Jan-13 22:35:48

jesus christ, he doesn't need to be tortured with more fucking rugby.

poor boy.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 22:36:50

He isn't in a team, they have the A's, the B's and then 'everybody else' who don't ever play a match against another school, which basically means anyone who would be C team or nearly B team is being allowed to play against pathetically bad at games ds and equally pathetic friends (whose preferred strategy is 'staying out of the way as much as possible') so the gap at times is very wide, add to this the games master and other staff always supervising matches when the gap is at its widest and there lies the problem as potential thugs then also have plenty of opportunity to be thugs. 18 yr old gap year students don't quite have the same effect on 11 year olds as a games master who also happens to be their head of year. Its beginning to look like ds will be sitting around a lot this half term if we can't find a coaching solution.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 22:41:50

I did laugh at that Joan, that was exactly ds words when I suggested joining a rugby club.

CaseyShraeger Thu 10-Jan-13 22:43:06

Labro did say that she thought he might enjoy rugby if someone bothered to teach it to him at the right level, JoanByers, so I thought it would be unlikely to be "torture" for him.

JoanByers Thu 10-Jan-13 22:49:04

I dunno. My son did two years of tennis coaching, he still can't hit a ball over a net.

Some boys are not good at ball games.

grovel Thu 10-Jan-13 22:53:08

This is hard. The teacher sounds crap BTW.

The good thing about rugby is that it accommodates all shapes and sizes.

The bad thing about rugby is that it separates the recklessly brave boys from the more considered (sensible) boys. A big deal at that age.

My DS hated rugby at prep school but was useful in the second 15 because he was big. He was used for those moments when someone was needed to lumber forward near the try line and score. That made him acceptable even when he "declined" the opportunity to dive at another kid's studs.

I am generally pro rugby but it needs better coaching than football.

weblette Thu 10-Jan-13 22:57:02

The RFU would have a fit about this. The rules are so specific in terms of contact rugby, how it's taught and the ages at which certain skills can be used. Playing yrs 6-8 in the same game sounds very suspect.
So approaching this from another angle, maybe have a look at the RFU website for ammunition.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 23:08:34

I was about to say that I am sure that different age groups are not supposed to play rugby together- I remember when ds was playing tag rugby at primary school there was a really good year 4 boy who wanted to play but he wasn't allowed to play with the year 6s- and it wasn't a school rule, it was a tournament rule.

I can't bear this talk of being worried about making a fuss because your child has a bursary- please don't let it stop you. He may have to toughen up a bit about games, but the bullying has to stop. And the inadequate supervision has to stop too.

jo164 Thu 10-Jan-13 23:23:21

I don't think anyone is trying to gloss over the bullying issue - however with proper supervision of the class by a qualified member of staff the behaviour may not be allowed to descend to these depths. It is unrealistic to expect an 18 yr old gap student to be able to deal with these sort of issues particularly in a situation where physical contact is being actively encouraged and a diverse age range of pupils are present. I would definitely approach it from an 'inappropriate supervision, calling into question the Health and Safety (physical and emotional) of the pupils' angle - and if there is documentation from the RFU take that with you support your argument! I have taught PE in several schools with gap students and we have never used them to coach children alone - only ever in a supporting role, or with a qualified teacher present.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 23:50:48

Thanks, will look that up, not sure how often the mixed ages happens, will have to ask, though all lessons are definitely year 5 & year 6 always together. Think I'm going to have to involve the headmaster. The last problem they had where 5 boys had to be sent home as they started crying because they were so cold (not my ds but several of his friends) and the mums only went to the teacher, meant he sent a letter out to everybody telling us how to buy more kit to keep our children warm, so bit of bypassing needed.

Amerryscot Fri 11-Jan-13 07:15:14

You have to be a bit careful complaining to the school about being too cold.

They are offering Games every day - that's what they do. There will be very few times that Games is cancelled. It will go on in rain and cold.

If you don't support this kind of education, then you should not have sent your son there.

You also have to be careful about playing the bullying card. This word is overused. Whatever has happened seems to be sorted though.

As for coaching - there isn't a lot that actually goes on in Games. I am assuming that the whole school is out and the single PE teacher has one group, and the other groups taken by subject teachers and gappies. I doubt many will have any kind of coaching qualification. The coaching will take place in PE lessons during the normal school day, where the PE teacher will see everyone in their own classes theoughout the week.

Labro Fri 11-Jan-13 07:43:29

Just to clarify, I didn't raise the too cold thing with the teacher, was just illustrating that the teacher can feel a bit inapproachable to parents. I don't use the bullying card unless something gets out of hand, which, though it has done previously was sorted our by the school. In this context, I've asked if the school is able to provide very basic instruction so that ds can learn rather than feel scared because he doesn't know how to play, which in rugby makes it dangerous due to the nature of the game. I disagree that its ok for so little instruction to be given, based on what sort of game rugby is it does need to be taught rather than letting them get on with it, otherwise there are going to be major injuries.

Longdistance Fri 11-Jan-13 07:54:09

He's certainly no coach.

My dh used to train the colts in rugby, giving them all the attention they all needed on different levels. Helping them with their strengths and weaknesses. He could work out who would be useful where in a match.

The coach shouldn't be leaving it to some other kids to do. I hope you can get to speak sternly with him, or the ht.

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 14:23:33

Don't complain about the cold- but do complain that the school did not ensure that the boys were wearing adequate clothing. My ds was playing rugby at school yesterday, and was not allowed to play until he put his gloves on- it was frosty. and the coach gave them a lecture about how getting cold meant you were not going to enjoy yourself and were more likely to get an injury.

And an entire session of monkey noises is bullying, whatever anyone says.

11112222 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:40:15

Do they not have showers to warm up in afterwards??

Ours are encouraged to wear skins when its cold.

OP - When is parents evening? Can you talk then to games teacher?

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 15:10:15

Doesn't matter how much they warm up afterwards if they've already been miserably cold with chilled muscles for 90 minutes

propatria Fri 11-Jan-13 17:22:00

Hard to know where to start with this as so much is wrong,ok,here goes-the RFU do not allow different year groups to play contact so your tales of years 5 -8 all mixed up is wrong,it should not be happening,
Any decent prep would never countenance it,as a matter of interest, how many players are playing,do you have kicking out of hand,place kicks,contested scrums ,hand offs etc,I imagine theyve got the playing details wrong as well,Rugby is dangerous,if it isnt coached properly,boys are introduced to aspects of it gradually,otherwise they should only be doing tag,ask what rugby qualifications the head of games has to coach rugby,I bet he has none.
I speak as a weekend Rugby widow who over the weekend could/should be watching three different games involving her children after watching dh of course...
Of course at that age he should have skins and padding and a scrum cap if he wants it,its the best team sport but it has to be taught correctly.
I have one son of about your sons age he plays at prep where he has specialist coaches backs,forwards and one who just does conditioning,at his club he has the services of four coaches all needless to say qualified and two ex pro,the other two good county standard,this is not a game you can play without knowing what you are doing,if they wont train your son then get him out of there,its dangerous.

Labro Fri 11-Jan-13 19:50:22

Games teachers response -

The monkey noises are part of rugby
ds doesn't understand the game as he missed lessons at the beginning of this season due to being ill, nobody else has any difficulty.
They put groups together according to ability and are carefully watched by the games master, but they can't help ds to progress if hes off games.

Have to say I'm not convinced by this, they aren't looking at doing any basic coaching as all the other boys have 'learnt this already'

Will take each day as it comes, he wouldn't even acknowledge that he wasn't even on the school grounds on the day of the monkey noises as he was supervising an away match.

Appointment with the head to be made.

Naoko Fri 11-Jan-13 20:04:56

I don't know anything about rugby (am foreign from a non-rugby playing nation and thus don't understand it at all) but 'monkey noises are part of rugby'?! Really? I always had the impression rugby was a fairly respectful sport, in some ways more so than my deeply beloved football, where 'monkey noises' is shorthand for 'racist slur' - I don't know what the race of your DS and the other boys is so I don't know if there's the same racist connotation, but it doesn't sound acceptable to me!

I'm also concerned that your DS and the other boys were 'given guidance as to what's bullying and what's friendly jostling' - that smacks of victim blaming and the old 'they just need to toughen up' chestnut to me. If I'm misreading that and it's not the case, apologies, but I was bullied all through primary school who were woefully inadequate in dealing with it and kept trying that shit too.

racingheart Fri 11-Jan-13 20:15:20

This sucks. My very unsporty DC adore rugby because our local club teaches it so well. And a ruck really isn't a fight. The way it's taught at our club, it's the most gymnastic group defense system. It's truly beautiful to watch. But they spend hours and hours on technique (all the boys at the club bar one or two are classic sports no hopers but they are making amazing progress.

No need for it to be a bullying free for all. Complain.

weblette Fri 11-Jan-13 20:26:23

'Monkey noises are part of rugby'? Er never have been in any of the games at prep school or rugby club that my kids have played over the last three years, or at the many Wasps matches and internationals I've seen. When the scrum engages there can be a grunting sort of noise as they get stuck in but it's only ever momentary and I'd certainly never say it sounded like a monkey...

Teacher is arse-covering (and talking out of arse too if that's possible). Appointment with the head sounds a very good idea.

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 21:01:41

Move schools. Seriously. If the boys behave like that the minute they are unsupervised and that's the teacher's response, then get get your child out of there. The boys will behave like that in other contexts as well, and the teacher reflects the culture of the school.

LIZS Fri 11-Jan-13 21:23:09

shock at the response . I hope you have it in writing as that is completely unacceptable.

ohnoherewego Fri 11-Jan-13 22:06:07

Where in the country are you? I would be very surprised if you can't get him into any local clubs. IME pots of clubs struggle for numbers in the minis.

stella1w Fri 11-Jan-13 22:12:42

Monkey noises are racist and thus illegal. Why are you putting up with this? If everything else great, take him out of rugby and do study time in the library.

Labro Sat 12-Jan-13 00:55:12

Decision made. Have taken him off rugby for the rest of this season, left him in PE and looking for a total beginners course at one of the local clubs for him and his best mate. Should have done this last year, our family dynamics mean that a weekend rugby thing is impossible as his dad won't take him to any activity during his time. There wasn't any racist intent with the noises. Many thanks to everybody, it helps clear the thoughts to write it down, rest of school life is 'great' according to ds, so no issues there.

Labro Sat 12-Jan-13 00:58:10

Oh and games master is having his arse 'kicked' by the headmaster.

AThingInYourLife Sat 12-Jan-13 01:00:22

He's right to be afraid of it, it's pretty dangerous.

JoanByers Sat 12-Jan-13 01:21:44

rugby is an awful game. Have you thought of trying to inspire your son with sports not involving balls?

There's Craggy Island indoor climbing Guildford:

Go-Karting around and about:

The Charlotteville Rascals cycling:

Labro Sat 12-Jan-13 01:29:51

Thanks joan, he does archery at school and climbing/abseiling with scouts. Bless him, him and mates put together a petition and asked the headmaster for an interview this afternoon to discuss whether they could be allowed to practise their football skills during the rugby season instead!

Labro Sat 12-Jan-13 02:03:43

Thanks for the cycling link joan, looks great and definitely a consideration if I can work out a way to get him there.

ZooAnimals Sat 12-Jan-13 02:45:52

'Monkey noises are racist and thus illegal'

I don't think monkey noises are racist unless intended to be racist/directed in a manner that could be considered racist.

AThingInYourLife Sat 12-Jan-13 07:28:35

No, all monkey noises are racist.

The worst for making them are monkeys. Racist bastards.

weblette Sat 12-Jan-13 07:43:24

Really good to hear you've sorted things. Your son sounds a star!

FWIW re injuries, my son's had far more injuries as a left back in football than a centre in rugby!

seeker Sat 12-Jan-13 08:22:07

grin @Athing.

Labro- seriously, don't take your eyes off this for a moment- it could be a symptom of something deeper. What I didn't like was the way the other boys behaved the moment they were unsupervised.

schoolnurse Sat 12-Jan-13 11:04:17

OP I work in an independent school we have just completed our rugby term. We have a group of boys who very obviously don't like rugby and in fact are absolutely petrified of it especially when we play certain schools. They often present on the day of a match with whole variety of symptoms hoping to be excused from games.
When choosing you next school please think carefully. It is easier at prep level to have you son excused from rugby but much harder at senior level especially if you're considering boarding. Most independent schools play rugby in the first term and at boarding school they will play it at least four times a week even in the pouring rain or the freezing cold, matches are frequently arranged for those who are in the D's or E's. Rugby is also likely to be compulsory for at least the first year if not the first three. There are schools out there that either don't play rugby I understand Westminster Winchester and Charterhouse don't and either provide one alternative e.g. hockey/rowing or lots of alternatives. Being made to play rugby when you clearly hate it can IME significantly jaundice a child's view of school in general so please do look into it carefully.

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