Contact Rugby Hits Primary
Contact Rugby Hits Primary
Our journey started by selecting a group of talented youngsters from their Year 5 Touch Rugby Curriculum lessons to play against the French School in 2006-2007. The following year we were able to offer a Touch Rugby ECA in Term 1 with some games against the French School the end goal. We were able to continue with our Term 1 ECA in 2008-2009 with fixtures against Bangkok Prep on this occasion and our students were also supported by an additional opportunity in Term 3 with an ECA offered by Mrs. Perry.
This year we decided to take the next step and offered a Contact Rugby ECA in Term 1 taken by myself on a Wednesday afternoon. Not really knowing how much interest this would generate amongst our Year 5-6 Primary student body it turned out that we even had to turn a few students away as numbers passed our 24 student limit. A few of our young Rugby players already play for the Bangkok Lions RFC who train on our Patana Fields each weekend but the majority were completely new to the contact version of the sport. The community effect should not be overlooked with several of those new players now members of the Bangkok Lions family which is a very positive link which benefits both school and the Bangkok Rugby community. From our very first ECA when all of our new recruits turned up not really knowing what lay ahead and tightly gripping their new gum shields, I have been pleased with their willingness to “have a go”!
During the term we have been working on general fitness, upper body and core strength which are all important elements of the game as well as learning the rules and developing a variety of difficult skills. From passing, tackling, rucking and positional play it has been a very steep learning curve for most. On the back of this I decided that it would be great for the children to put their skills to the test in a game. Unfortunately we are the only International School that I know of who currently offer Primary contact rugby. In the end I was able to arrange a fixture as part of the Old Bangkok Bangers Family Fun Day against the Bangkok Japanese RFC on Sunday 15th November. 16 students were available to play and arrived to excitedly wear our new kit and take their place in Patana history as our first ever U’11 contact team. Taking into account that the Bangkok Japanese team train every week and participate in many local and International tournaments this was always going to be a stern test after just 8 ECA sessions for our team. The 10-a-side game started brightly for the Japanese as our young Tigers fell off their tackles and tried to get used to the high pace and powerful running of the opposition. It was certainly a lesson on the importance of tackling effectively and early. As the first 10 minutes session came to an end I was pleased to see that our heads were still high and we were ready to try again. In total we played 3 X 10 minutes thirds with the Japanese and improved in each as players got the hang of what was required in attack and more importantly, defence.
At the end we also had the opportunity to play a section of the Bangkok Lions for a final 10 minutes game which proved to be a much closer game as the Patana Team put into the practice the lessons learned from before. Many of our young players made great progress during the afternoon with Teddy Boonbandansook , Ciaran O'Kane and Alexandre Lacrosse tackling better and more effectively as the games progressed. Claudia Denye also deserves a mention not as our only girl but as our muddiest player by the end of the games!
Rugby was certainly the winner as many of the team stayed to enjoy the Men’s Rugby, BBQ and even the Bouncy Castle! A huge thank you to all of our players and their parents who maintained their enthusiastic support throughout, also to the Bangkok Japanese and Bangkok Lions for the opportunity to play and to the Old Bangkok Bangers RFC for including us in their Family Fun Day.
If you are currently in Year 4 or 5 remember to look out for our contact Rugby ECA in Term 1 next year!
Mr. Andrew Tatam
Head of Primary Physical Education
For more pictures please click here http://www.patana.ac.th/Elementary/viewGallery.asp?hGalleryID=789
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