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soys

thot the

sense

of

competition

is

only port of the

fun:

"Yes,

we

oll

get

o

buzz

when we

win,

but

for

young children

especiolly,

there's much

more

to

be

goined. There's

the

sense

of

odventure

ossocioted

with

setting

off

with their

friends

in o

school

minibus, seeing

whot

o

different

school

is

like

or

hosting onother

teom

bock

ot

bose, meeting

new

people

ond

shoring

stories

ond

sondwiches

over

the

'motch

teo'

ofterwards. At this oge, often whot

mokes

the

memories

is

the

shored experience

-

not

the winning. Cerloinly ot this

stoge

in o child's

life,

the

focus

of

sport is best

ploced

on

the

journey, not

the outcome."

Andrew

Stonley, Director

of

Rugby

ot Deon Close

School

in

Cheltenhom,

ogrees

thot

rugby

provides

opportunities

for

friendship

ond

spor.tsmonship,

whotever

the

oge

of

the

ployers,

ond

soys, "Rugby

develops

o

greot

friendship network

both

within

teoms

ond

between oppositions.

Ployers

con

contest

in

o

tough motch

but

will

still

olwoys

shoke honds

ot

the

end

of the

gome.

lt

is

o

gome

where discipline

is poromount, where

ployers disploy

o

high

level

of

respect

for the

crowd ond officiols, moking

it

o

fun

ond

fitting

gome within o school environment."

At

The

Croft

School,

there hos been

much

rugby

success:

its

teom won

the

Ul

I

Notionol

Schools'

Rugby Tournoment

2013 ond

took

3'd

ploce

ot

the

U9

Notionol Schools'

Rugby

Tournoment

2015.

Boys

ot the

school

stort

rugby

ot

the

oge

of

six,

when

sofety

is

poromount

ond

speciolist sports teochers meticulously

follow

RFU

guidelines.

Lessons

stort with

bosic

boll

hondling,

introduction

to

evosion skills

ond

physicol

fitness.

By

the time the

boys

ore in their finol

yeor

ot

The

Croft, contoct, technicol

skills,

gome

ploy ond teom

work ore

oll

evident in

their

motches.

Sofety

is

of

course

o

key

issue

for the

sport

within

oll

schools,

with

doctors

ond

ocodemics

hoving recently colled

for

o

bon

on

tockling

in

school motches due

to

concerns over injuries

thot

con

hcve lifelong

consequences.

So how

do

our

locol

schools

go obout

keeping

the gome

sofe?

Nick

Tisdole,

Moster

in

chorge

of

Rugby

ot

Molvern

College, soys,

"Sofety

is the

most

Il0

NOVEMBER

I6