Reflections from Playing School Rugby

(P.S. A lot of the stories and experiences I tell in this post are mostly for entertainment (and a small bit of educational) purposes. Don’t take anything here too seriously, I’m just an old ass teenager reminiscing on his very ancient childhood 👍🏼)

Thanks to Thomas Serer @jesusance for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

Hey friends, hope we’re all keeping well.

Yep, you read that title right. My sorry looking self genuinely played secondary school rugby for 4 years. In the front row, in the middle of those terrifying-looking scrums, most of the time in the harsh, rainy, muddy fields.

Very surprisingly , I never broke any bones, nor had any major injuries aside from the time I got hit in the face by a rugby ball that was kicked by my coach🙃

All jokes aside though, some of the best, funniest, and most hilarious memories I have definitely occurred only because of my involvement in the school rugby team. The people I met from playing rugby together were by far some of the most interesting and humorous.

1. The first thing I think I should immortalise in this post, is that secondary school rugby teams are a cult. Or rather, more like a fraternity.

By which I mean once you find yourself in the team, and the longer you stay, the more exponentially difficult it will be to get out. The pressure, the potential shame, the pressure, the excommunication threats, and the pressure from your peers to keep showing up at training, to keep playing in matches was terrifying. Motivating at times, sure, but still undeniably nerve-wracking.

This pressure was not just given off by my teammates, however. At the start of my 4th year in school, I had firmly made the big-boy decision that I was leaving the rugby team for good. It simply wasn’t my sport, was too rough, and I felt severe imposter syndrome playing it. But after some urging by my coach to just keep trying out 2 more training sessions before I left for definite, I was once again pulled into playing for the rest of the year😅

So yeah, for anyone reading this thinking of joining their secondary school rugby team, make sure you decide whether or not you enjoy the sport first early on, before making a commitment to join your team (because I know for a fact it wasn’t just my school that was like this🤦🏻‍♂️).

But then again, I’m a pretty weak person who can be easily pressured into most things 🤷🏻‍♂️

2. It’s amazing how the tallest, fattest, and most built rugby players all fall the same way if you just go below their knees.

3. Tackling is absolutely terrifying. Especially when your target is practically twice your size, the biggest player on the opposing team, and charging straight toward you. Even after 4 years, where most people would’ve conquered the fear already and be fine with it, I still flinch a little at the thought of tackling🤦🏻‍♂️

4. Hard fought victories shine brightest when you played your part. Crushing defeats hit hardest when you did your best.

Either way, having your teammates beside you always makes the experience better.

5. All in all, I’m glad I joined the rugby team and survived this long playing it. The people I met, lessons learned, and memories formed through all my rugby-related trips, matches, and experiences are things I’ll treasure for life👍🏼

Thanks for reading this post if you did, remember to stay safe and I’ll hopefully see you again👋🏼

(Back when the ‘Ha! Goteem’ thing with your fingers making a circle was still funny 🙃)

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