TOM CHADWICK: Tackling the issue of safety

Tom Chadwick's Junior Report
Tom Chadwick's Junior Report

Well there’s only one place to start today, and that’s with the recent opinions on contact rugby not being safe for children to participate in.

On March 2, there was a report released by the BBC in which more than 70 doctors and academics were calling for a ban on tackling in matches played in UK and Irish schools.

Instead of offering my thoughts on the subject I thought that I would refer to two different comments on the debate.

The first statement is from England’s Rugby Governing body, the Rugby Football Union (RFU): “The RFU takes player safety extremely seriously and this is at the core of all the training of coaches, referees, medics and the players themselves, at all levels of the game.

“Rugby is a fantastic sport for children, bringing many physical and social benefits, including increased confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline, and enjoyable physical exercise as part of a team.

“Teachers constantly comment on off-pitch behaviour improvements when rugby is introduced in school.”

The second comment I’d like to share with you was written by our minis coaching team and I think it summed up perfectly what Scarborough RUFC stands for.

“While we do not want to get drawn into a protracted debate into the rights and wrongs of the report, what we do want to make clear to everyone who brings their children to Scarborough RUFC mini rugby on a Sunday morning is that we take the safety and welfare of all children placed in our care as our highest priority.

“They are children first and rugby players second. Playing rugby is just part of a commitment to a balanced healthy lifestyle where they can develop mentally, socially and physically and if along that journey we can play and win a few rugby matches then that will be a bonus.

“Getting badly hurt or injured is not an inevitable consequence of playing rugby and we will do everything in our power to send your children home in better physical condition then when they first arrived. Thank you for all your support.”

We fully appreciate that rugby can sometimes get a bad press, but I would encourage all those with doubts to come along to the club on a Sunday morning and witness how enjoyable playing rugby is for all our players.

Scarborough RUFC has over 340 mini and junior players now and this alone is proof of the wonderful job our coaches do in ensuring our players are happy and safe at all times.

It is also testament to the magnificent service this club continues to offer to the wider community.

Last week Scalby took on Ryedale in the year Seven East Yorkshire Schools play-off final.

The game itself was a fantastic spectacle, with both sides scoring a number of tries in what was quite a cold and wet evening.

Unfortunately Scalby just lost out, but considering this was only an under-12s match, there was some very promising talent in the side.

Hopefully those players will continue with the sport both at school and at the club, as they certainly have the potential to achieve great things in the years to come.

This Sunday we have our minis playing away in Beverley and Hull, while our under-16s travel away to play at Malton.