Rugby by Liselotte Stredel - Profesora de inglés


Since all we see in the news and our social media these days is related to Covid-19, I thought that maybe I’d write about something unrelated, and also very personal to me. I’m going to talk to you about rugby.

The first thing most people ask when you say the word rugby is: “Isn’t it the same as American football?”; well, the answer to that is NO. Rugby is a contact sport that started around the 1830’s in England, when it became popular to pick up the ball and run with it instead of just kicking it around. And just like its name states, it was founded at the Rugby School in the English town of Rugby. The shape of the ball is oval, and you cannot throw it forward but diagonally to the back: the only way you can throw it forward is either during a line-out or by kicking it. Unlike its American cousin, the only protection you need is a mouth guard and that’s it!

I’m not going to explain the rules because you can find those all over the internet, and it would make this post a little boring. The reason I decided to write about rugby is to show you all the values this sport has taught me over the six years I played it. Yes, I am a former rugby player! I played as a forward, that is, the players who make up the scrum. This is the 8-player formation known as “the pack”, which disputes the ball after some minor infringement. During my career I played four of the pack positions: prop, hooker, lock and flanker, only having missed playing number 8. If you’re wondering if I ever got injured, yes, I had my nose broken during a training session, and by a guy from the men’s team. Aside from the many, many bruises and scratches you normally get.

Back to the topic, these are the main values rugby teaches you, as stated by World Rugby:

  1. Integrity. Every rugby player has a duty on and off the field: honesty above everything. You can’t call yourself a rugby player if you’re not committing to fair play.
  2. Passion. It’s no coincidence that whenever you bring rugby into the conversation, the players will be more than excited and happy to tell you everything about it, to the point of seeming really intense about what others might view as “just a sport”. To us is not just that, it is also a lifestyle, it’s the place where we have found our community and where we feel we’ve always belonged.
  3. Solidarity. If there is one thing rugby players do, it is helping each other, no matter the colors of your club. Some of the people I consider my brothers and sisters didn’t play for the same club as I did.
  4. Discipline. This is the value that helps you adhere to the rules and laws of the game, but it also works outside the field. It is what has helped me the most to carry on living a somewhat normal life during the quarantine, as I’ve been able to not overeat and comply with the prohibition of not leaving my house if necessary. It’s what has helped me maintain a solid exercise routine during these lockdown days and not lazying around too much.
  5. Respect. Perhaps the most important of the 5 values. This is a sport that teaches you that no matter what you do, you must always show respect for your teammates, your rivals, referees and everyone involved in a game. You’ll never see a rugby player protest against any decision taken by the referee, unlike what happens in a very popular sport that I won’t be naming :P

These are the five values that this sport teaches you, but they should also be values you base your life on. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like rugby or if you’ve never even played any type of sports; they work perfectly on your day to day life. I hope that after reading this you feel encouraged to base your actions on these values, so we can become better people in the long run.

That’s all for today, take care!

09 April 2021

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