With the help of The Societe Generale -Singapore Cricket Club Junior Rugby Academy, 15 boys and girls are getting a chance to play the game and to be part of a team. The drills during training are strenuous and every time someone makes a mistake the entire team is “punished.” For someone watching from outside the field, it seems unfair for the coach to insist on collective responsibility for the mistake of one person. It also seems strange that the players do not protest but continue to give their utmost cooperation after fulfilling each “punishment.”
Just 6 weeks ago, these boys and girls were often getting into disagreements with each other. Name calling, minor scuffles and bullying were the norm and it was difficult to picture them as a cohesive group where members encouraged each other but at the last training session, they were pushing each other to run a little faster as well as offering praise and concern where appropriate.
Two brothers tell us that they enjoy the drills because they feel like they are getting better at them with every training session. They like the way the coach explains things to them whenever they are confused and it appears that they deeply appreciate how someone takes the trouble to help them learn. This was encouraging news for us because both have a history of staying away from home whenever they feel that they have been bullied. The game also seems to have given them a self-belief that they are no pushovers for bullies.
With sport, young people have a context to practice decision-making, leadership, self-discipline, team-work and even a generosity of spirit and kindness toward others. It is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and friendships across social divides. People from different backgrounds can be on the same team and as such, it is a good social leveler.
Next week, Singapore is hosting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on 15 & 16 April 2017 at the iconic Singapore Sports Hub. It is a top-class tournament and a huge sporting fiesta and our boys and girls will get to go.
Enjoy your weekend.
Rugby has always been a game for all shapes and sizes. You have the superstars and the fast guys who score the tries, but you also need the workhorses and the people who play all the other roles. Unless they all work together as a team then it’s really going to affect the performance. Everyone’s got to rely on everyone else. – Warren Gatland