No rest for the weary! Although BUWRFC had a bye the weekend of September 22, the team met with alumnus and program development officer for Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization, Erin Quinlan (SED ’12), ready to become Rookie Rugby coaches.
While the sport continues to gain players across college campuses nationwide, there has also been an increase in the development of rugby in young players.
Rookie Rugby aims to promote team work, health and fitness, skill development (which is key in rugby, a sport many people have not had the opportunity to grow up watching, like soccer or football), and most importantly, fun.
MYRO has been especially helpful in the advancement of the sport because it opts to “promote, encourage and develop the sport of rugby by providing school, community and regional youth programs,” as well as providing players with “an environment which welcomes every child who wishes to play; respects all of the participants — players, coaches, referees, parents and fans; and values effort, integrity and sportsmanship as much as winning.”
The team was taught how to break down plays and drills to make it easy for younger, new players to learn the game in an exciting way. For example, we taught children that you hold a ball how you would hold a cheeseburger. Or that we pass in an underhand motion, like when going bowling. The main idea is to make new ideas comprehensible by making them relatable to actions they are used to doing in daily life.
R.O.O.T.S., which stands for respecting the rules, opponents, officials, teammates, and self, is a useful tool in working with children. It is used to remind players to consistently play with a level of respect towards everyone on the pitch. Garnering this type of atmosphere early on will aid in good sportsmanship once they begin playing full-contact rugby.
A few current BUWRFC players are taking part in Rookie Rugby and volunteering for MYRO, including Christine Moyer (CAS ‘14), Ashley Donahue (SAR ’14) and Lauren McCormack (COM ’14).
For more information on Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization and how to get involved, check out http://myrugby.org/league/.
For additional information on Sports Based Youth Development, check out Erin Quinlan’s post on Your Scrumhalf Connection http://www.scrumhalfconnection.com/2012/09/18/sports-based-youth-development-youth-rugby-tackles-many-issues/