02 October, 2023

Rugby - Why your child should play

Rugby - Why your child should play-Rugby - Why your child should play-Rugby header

Rugby in my home country of New Zealand is like what Football is in Qatar, South America and many parts of Europe. I didn’t know it at the time, but joining the local junior Rugby Club in my hometown of Wellington had a massively positive impact on my life. There is no sport in the world that brings people together like Rugby and the comradery you experience on and off the field with your teammates forges friendships that are guaranteed to last a lifetime. It is a tough, yet rewarding sport that teaches your child the importance of committing to teammates/coaches who are relying on you, discipline and respect (especially towards referees) and, helps your child form a positive relationship with exercise that will build self-confidence and self-esteem. 

I was the only player from my primary school on the team when I joined the local Rugby Club as a 9-year-old. The team was made up of boys from all the different primary schools around my district. I vividly remember introducing myself to two guys called Aaron and Ryan, who had been playing for the club since they were 4 years old. 23 years later, Aaron and Ryan are still two of my closest friends!

It was no different in 2019 when I first joined Doha Rugby Club as an adult. I made friends on the first training session and have just attended one of their weddings in Spain this summer just gone. 

It was not always easy motivating myself to go to training, especially in the cold New Zealand winters battling against icy winds and sometimes horizontal rain. But I knew, I had to be there for my teammates and coaches who were giving up their spare time to give us an opportunity to play. Once I got my boots on and started warming up with my friends it was always fun, sometimes the hardest part was getting out the front door. This taught me at a very early age the fundamental aspect of discipline: turning up and doing what needs to be done, even when you don’t always feel like it. It also taught me that there is no better feeling than washing the mud off you in a nice hot shower after playing a tough game in the cold and wet. 

If you have never watched a game of Rugby, there is a major difference the sport has above all others – emphasis on respect. Even monstrous professional players that weigh well over 100kg and stand over 6 feet tall will NEVER argue with a referee’s decision and will always shake hands with the opposition after a match, regardless of how physical the game might have been. Given that I come from this type of sporting culture, I find it extremely difficult to see how football players treat referees.  

It is tradition to have a meal with the opposition team after every match. One meal that particularly stands out to me is after I represented Qatar at Rugby 7’s and I sat down with members of the UAE, Lebanese, and Iranian teams. It was great to meet people that I otherwise would never have met before, from vastly different cultures, brought together by Rugby. 

Rugby is a sport that requires a high level of fitness and is a great outlet for active (and mischievous) kids. Admittedly, I was a high-energy child who would be climbing up the walls and terrorizing my parents at home. Rugby allowed me to burn all this excess energy and, in the process, made me fitter and healthier which furthermore increased my self-esteem and confidence. With Compass International School having a partnership with Doha Rugby Club I would highly recommend signing your child up so that they too can experience the friendships, experiences, and life lessons Rugby has given me throughout the years. 

'Doha Rugby Football Club is the home of rugby in Doha and has been for almost 50 years since it was formed back in 1974. 
It is not lightly that we use the word, home. As families relocate to Doha, unsure of the landscape and what there is by way of community, DRFC offers it. We welcome all families, some whom have been involved with rugby clubs for years, to those who this is their first foray into the world of rugby. Parents get involved with the management and coaching of sections and children make new friends outside of their school group. 

-Anthony Phillips, Primary PE Teacher Madinat Khalifa

Our Partners at Doha Rugby Football Centre

Rugby adds so much to a child’s development, physically, emotionally, and socially, and like many other sports teaches participants to develop the competitive edge necessary to push themselves to achieve a win. Unlike many other sports, rugby also places a strong emphasis on the values learned through losing, as well. Values such as grace in defeat, respect for your team, your opponents, officials, and camaraderie to keep yourself and your teammates positive and continue giving 100%, regardless of the result. 

Rugby - Why your child should play-Rugby - Why your child should play 

At Doha Rugby Club we encourage cultural integration, promote physical health and well-being, and provide a sense of belonging. Our coaches promote self-discipline through our training sessions and competitive contexts as well as allowing children the opportunity to develop their resilience in a
warm and friendly environment.

Overall, participation in rugby in an international expat setting provides a holistic experience for all the family that goes beyond team sport and improving physical fitness. It develops and contributes to social, emotional, and cognitive growth and facilitates lifelong friendships.

“We welcome you all to come and enjoy being part of something special. At Doha Rugby Football Club we are more than just a sports provider, we are a community."

Doha Rugby Football Centre – A proud partner of Compass International School Doha