I woke up this morning to several top story news reports about the negative affects of tackling in rugby in schools in the UK. BBC news reported that, "More than 70 doctors and academics are calling for a ban on tackling in rugby matches played in UK and Irish schools." - BBC Article -
My question is simple: HAS THE UK GONE MAD?
This topic being raised has made me so angry that I decided to write an extra piece this week.
I am in no way saying that the doctors are wrong about the injuries and rates of recovery in kids. I am not trying to dispute their evidence. All I am asking is that we take a step back for a minute and look at the situation that is being blurted all over the media.
These doctors are creating yet another barrier to entry for kids; parents are now going to look at the news and think twice before signing their kids up to certain sports. To me it is not about the injuries it is about where we draw the line as reasonable human beings. Soon it will be far too unsafe to let the kids go outside of the house because they might put their foot down on the ground, I mean, we all know that movement and contact with the ground combined with gravity can cause long term use of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. We wouldn't want that now would we?
The most absurd thing to me is that 70 medical professionals have backed an open letter in the hope that the petition gets enough signatures and is passed for debate with MPs. Yet these are the same people that could be writing an open letter to MPs about the unhealthy way that processed foods and fizzy drinks are marketed to children.
Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful that we are trying to help kids have a better (injury free) future but where is the open letter by 70 health professionals calling for a ban on sugary treats at tuck shops? Where is the letter calling for a ban on the sale of highly processed and fast food to children? Where is the letter calling for a ban on chemicals being added to food to reduce the cost? Where is the letter calling for more PE lessons in school with fun, low impact exercises to help kids move more? I could rattle off 100 more questions before getting to the question about safe rugby tackling.
I guess my rant today is more about trying to see the bigger picture, yes I believe in safe an effective exercise for everyone. Yes kids might get injured playing sport, but we could also get injured walking down the stairs in the morning, we are creating what I call a 'cotton wool' culture in this country. Everything is regulated to provide safety, but are we focused on the wrong types of safety at the moment?
Im interested to hear your thoughts!
Stay strong and keep moving!
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.