The Rituals Behind Rugby’s Rise
Rugby is about hard and fast play, taking on the opposition and leaving nothing in the tank.
But it’s also about community, protecting your teammates and respecting your opposition.
Played across Australia and the world, it’s a sport for all body-types and cultures to enjoy and increasingly, women are being given their chance to run with the ball.
The NT Rugby Union, the state administrative body for rugby in the Northern Territory, is keen to get as many women playing the great game as possible. They now offer representative and local opportunities for girls and women of all ages and have begun running clinics which give women the chance to try out the sport in a safe and supportive environment.
And it’s working. Buoyed by the success of the Women’s Rugby 7’s team in Rio, across the country women’s rugby is thriving with some regions experiencing a growth of up to 500% between seasons.
According to Mark Heath, Chief Executive Officer at NT Rugby, Rugby 7s is a great pathway sport for women.
In 2017, NT Rugby held an event in celebration of International Women’s Day, giving women the chance to try out the sport as part of a small beach competition.
The best part of the day? The laughter. No matter what their skill-level or age, everyone was made to feel a part of the rugby community.
NT Rugby is a strong supporter of the Good Sports program, a partnership that makes sense given rugby’s strong traditions and presence in the local community.
Speaking of the program, Mark explains that Good Sports is an important way for clubs to strengthen their communities and an initiative that NT Rugby recommends to all local clubs.
“Good Sports provides a great framework for clubs who are starting out, or who are long-established, to have behaviour protocols which ensure that everyone who wants to be involved has a safe and welcoming place at the club.”
With a rich amateur history, rugby simply wouldn’t survive without the passion of local volunteers and contributors at all levels of the sport.
Entrenched values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect are reinforced at all levels of the game. It’s a tradition that is worth protecting.
“We must ensure that our games and events are family-friendly to continue this great tradition.” Mark said.
The face of rugby may be changing, but with the support of strong local clubs, its famous family-friendly history doesn’t have to.