It might come as a surprise when they ask
When I met up with one of my girlfriends this week for a catch-up, she told me that her daughter wants to take up rugby. She was a little shocked, but more importantly, concerned at this request. Of course, we got into a conversation about whether it’s ok for girls to play rugby or not.
The natural doubt runs all the way through history
It was such taboo to even think of women playing rugby in old times, that it’s unconfirmed when they might have begun the sport. The first evidence was in England in the 1800s, but the games were frequently banned because they caused riots – people thought it was downright wrong then!
Rugby wasn’t fully accepted in the western world as a valid women’s sport until the 1990s, so it’s no wonder we might still hesitate as parents when our daughters talk about taking part in this traditionally male sport! Rugby is now a widely played sports amongst girls in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and France.
How can my daughter play safely?
The best way is to enrol her in a girls rugby team – there are plenty of them all around South Africa. There are even a number of dedicated organisations worldwide for women’s rugby, so you can be sure that clubs for girls have safety at heart first, and encourage a spirit of community and fun to go with it.
Even though the South African women's rugby team has only been competing in the international spotlight for a short while, the lady Boks are now ranked in the top 10 amongst some of the world’s elite female rugby players. The South African Rugby Union has been very supportive of women's rugby in recent years, by assisting in organizing camps and overseas exchange programmes for young female players.
There are mixed rugby teams around too, but as the guardian of a young child, it’s probably best to give them a miss. This is because growing girls and boys are not equally matched in strength and build. Rugby is fairly rough and tumble, so keeping your little lass in a girls team will keep the sport in the safer list of kids activities overall. Let them wait til they’re old enough to make their own decision about joining mixed rugby teams!
Get your little lady started now!
Ultimately, if your daughter’s keen to play a sport, it’s great to encourage this. What better kids’ activity than one she really enjoys? Check the ActiveActivities directory today for a full listing!
Bec is a married stay at home mum who spends most of her time sorting out the chaotic lives of her two daughters, Jessica (7) and Tessa (3). When she’s not carefully coordinating her kids’ outfits, or addressing their notoriously complicated culinary requirements, she likes to share in the busy lives of other parents. After devouring mummy blogs for years, Bec decided to start blogging from her Cape Town home last year. She hopes her experiences will inspire other parents and help them feel less alone when things get tough.