Heading for the Big Time?

Will your child make it to the England Squad? And does it even matter?! 

Here’s some thoughts from our wonderful Head Of Fun and Games, Chris Gomez!

With the Rugby World Cup just days away, it’s amazing to see that so many of the England squad are really talented, young players. All of those players started their rugby journeys at a very young age and I loved how England and Wales made a point of introducing their squads by focusing on their grass roots rugby.  Check out these brilliant videos announcing the England and Wales squads.

It’s fair to say that not every child who plays rugby from a young age is going to get to this level. However, unless they’re enjoying their sport, they’re not really going to get very far and that’s why I believe so passionately that it’s absolutely imperative for children to enjoy the sport they’re doing, no matter what it is.

I was incredibly lucky to go to a school that seems to produce a number of international rugby players – sadly I wasn’t one of them!

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I was at school with Nick Easter, Andrew Sheridan and David Flatman. All legends! At the time though, (and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this) I don’t think anyone would have thought that Nick Easter would become England captain! He wasn’t even the best player on the pitch.

But his complete love of the game and the coaches who inspired him, built his passion for the game, so he put in the incredible hard work that led him to becoming an England legend and one of the leaders of the team in the 2007 world cup! Quite a journey!

I believe there’s nothing more important to sport than enjoyment from an early age. If kids are pushed too hard to the point they don’t enjoy sport or worse still, they’re told by a coach that they’re not very good at sport, they’re not going to want to continue with any sport and that’s just too heartbreaking for words.

It really doesn’t matter if you’re heading for International success or not. To me it’s about learning to have a lifetime love of all things sport. We all need to help our children enjoy sport; the physicality of it as well as the competition, the discipline, the camaraderie and the songs… oh the rugby songs!!!

But it doesn’t have to be rugby….. (gasp!)

We passionately want children to enjoy all sports. Someone recently told me their child had just suddenly stopped enjoying Try Time and while that’s something for us to improve on, I really want that child to move on and find something they do love.  As long as it’s sport related….!! And preferably outside, but that’s just our opinion!

When it comes to developing a love of sport vs. a development of ability, enjoyment should win every time. 

Good luck in the World Cup everyone!