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Up to date views on rugby at Radley please!

(10 Posts)
Coroico97 Wed 13-Jan-16 09:50:55

Our DS has a place at Radley to start in 2017. We, and his headmaster, think it will be a good fit for him. He's sociable, confident, makes friends easily, happy away from home, mature, works hard and loves getting stuck in. He loves and is good at MOST sports and plays a lot during the week and at weekend, happily turning out in all weathers as often as you ask him. He plays football (school B team), a lot of hockey (top team at school - although not saying much as they don't play often - and in top team for out of school club), a lot of cricket (Captain of year at school and hovering around top team of very competitive out of school club), strong tennis player, one of top three sprinters in year. HOWEVER, he does not like rugby. He is fast, so is out on the wing, and he gives it his all. He is not bad at it, but he just doesn't really enjoy it and is (I think) a little bit scared. He hates the contact, or the fear of contact. And he hates hurting people, or the fear of hurting people. It's the only sport ever where he is not keen to do extra training (although does) and is not keen to be in team.

I am sure you can guess my question . . . just how much is the rugby thing going to matter? I would love some up to date first hand knowledge of how it might be for him there. How many terms/years will he have to play for? Will he be teased for not embracing it? To us, it just doesn't seem to be a good enough reason to turn down a place at a great school that would suit him otherwise, but am I wrong? I know it is a MAJOR thing there. Our DS has a place at another school where they play hockey, and no rugby, but it is mixed, weekly boarding and less academic. Radley would be our first choice apart from the whole rugby thing. Can anyone offer any views? His happiness and suitability is obviously our top priority. DS has visited both schools and liked both.

swquestion Wed 13-Jan-16 10:04:26

My nephew started at Radley a year ago and there is a lot of rugby - but can't you ask the headmaster some of these questions? They may be able to explain that all year 4s play rugby then in lower 5 (or whatever they call their years) it splits so you can choose hockey/football etc etc? I wasn't very sporty at boarding school but you just have to get stuck in in a way - I don't think my mother would have cared or dreamed of worrying about whether I would have to play a particular sport! Plus, as he grows and becomes a bit stronger and plays a bit more he may find he likes it? It would be a bit silly to turn down a place at such a good school because of disliking one sport smile

Coroico97 Wed 13-Jan-16 10:16:52

Thanks SW - yes I totally agree. That's why I wanted some up to date views. At most schools I wouldn't think twice and he would just get on with it, as you say. I too was chucked into boarding school at 9 and had to muddle along. But I think rugby at Radley is a bit different, hence my question. It appears to be a bit like a religion! Will check in with Headmaster again too, but was interested to hear some parents' views on it. There have been a few, "if your son doesn't like rugby don't even think about Radley" type posts on here in the past.

1805 Wed 13-Jan-16 16:13:46

Ds is at Radley. Don't worry about rugby!! They have to play for 1 term in their first year, and yes, the top teams do take it seriously, but the 1st yr teams go down to team 6, and then not everyone is involved if they really don't want to be!! My ds is sporty, but doesn't like rugby, and is pleased he never has to play it again at school!!! It really is not a problem. No teasing involved!!
He is doing hockey, cricket, real tennis and squash this term.

Italianchappie21 Mon 18-Jan-16 04:38:28

DS is at Radley and believe me do not worry. DS sounds very similar to yours and we had this slight concern before he started too BUT believe me if you are asking for an opinion right now from someone with a DS at Radley now your fears are unfounded. No teasing, there are LOTS of boys who do not like / are not particularly good at rugby. Don't get me wrong if you are amazing at rugby it is a great place to be but it is certainly not a religion as so many posters on here seem to believe (in my opinion these posters may be basing their view on what it was like 10 years ago or more). Do not turn down a place at this amazing school if this is your concern - it will not be a problem at all. (we are sooo impressed with the school .... and we have experience of other children / god children / close friends with sons at other well known boarding schools). Feel free to PM me if you need more info but no worries about the rugby. (also yes 1805 is right - only one term of Rugby is played by those who don't want to do more and even for this one term it is a very relaxed approach to rugby for the bottom couple of teams!).

RadleyWife Mon 18-Jan-16 07:59:49

Name changed for this as we're Sub Tutors at Radley smile

Just to reinforce the above, All boys play rugby initially but at a range of levels so no pressure. There are so many other sports on offer too and they're just finishing a new (extra) hockey pitch. Lots of racquet sports too which sounds like it would suit him.

On a personal level, as someone who has regular contact with the boys, sounds like your son would fit right in. They're a great bunch!

roguedad Mon 18-Jan-16 19:44:09

Just for a bit of balance:


2. "Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?" (As Samuel Johnson put it.)

We ruled out all schools with a ghastly culture of compulsory thuggish herd games, and rapidly eliminated several schools besides Radley. Abingdon has it right - gives boys a choice, and the First and 2nd XV still thrashed Radley, Rugby, Marlborough and Cheltenham this year. Choice over compulsion always. I would not send a boy to Radley if it was free, until they sort this out.

sendsummer Mon 18-Jan-16 20:19:46

roguedad it sounds from the above as though Radley have changed their rugby policy in the last couple of years. Most schools have compulsory participation in at least one team sport for a term or so even Winchester College for WinColl Football . Abingdon also used to have compulsory rugby until the change of head.
I think that it will still be the minority of pupils who don't choose to do rugby at Radley and therefore a bit of a fringe group. Gradually that should change if more boys like the OP's and the other posters' DSs are admitted.

1805 Mon 18-Jan-16 22:45:41

I'm sorry, but what has the above article got to do with Radley?

OP - honestly, 1 term of rugby, played in team 6, against other schools team 6's, is not the scenario rouguedad has linked to.

We have been very impressed with the pastoral care too by the way.

Coroico97 Mon 08-Feb-16 09:46:24

Thanks so much all for these very useful comments. We are planning to visit again with our DS and try to put his/our mind at rest about it all. And thank you very much RadleyWife too! I was thinking about your cheery post as I watched DS shivering on the sidelines playing rugby last week!!

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