When a child announces that they want to take up any hobby, parents usually feel a mixture of excitement (their son or daughter wants to try something new) and dread (this could get expensive!).
1. Mouth guard
Rugby is a physical game and even though tackling is not a part of the game initially, you might still want to get your child a mouth guard to protect their teeth from potential harm. Even with the non-contact version of the game, running around at speed carries an increased risk of collision-based injury!
By the time they reach the U9s category, they must have a mouth guard. Dentists can make and fit them though there are also versions that you can mould yourself at home.
2. Training Kit
In the early stages, the training kit required will largely be driven by what they feel comfortable in. Shorts and t-shirts are ideal, especially when they are trying the sport out. Later on, once they are more committed, your son or daughter might want club training kit. Have a sweatshirt or hoodie and tracksuit bottoms available for lower temperatures, so your little player is ready for rugby drills whatever the weather.
Specialist rugby spikes are available that pose a lower injury risk than football spikes, and you will need to invest if training continues.
Most children already have a water bottle, just don’t forget to take it.
5. Smart clothes
A post-match shirt and tie will be required for players aged 13 and over, though your club will be able to advise on that.
6. Kit bag
Finally, you’ll need to have a dedicated bag to put everything in, to carry everything you need for training and matches. Choose one that has a waterproof section for muddy boots, and somewhere to keep clean clothes away from dirty. There is a great lesson to be learned around looking after kit, checking that everything is in order, and taking responsibility for things.
The Love Rugby League blog goes into more detail about why it is worth pursuing rugby as a hobby for your child. Regular rugby drills can also help with discipline.
Most children will get an idea very quickly whether or not they want to continue with a sport, so listen to their feedback.