DIDI FAMILY BLOG: There’s no need for your child to be ‘just a footballer’ – they can play rugby too

In the third of a series of blogs from our franchise holders around the country, didi rugby Crewe and Nantwich’s Katie Heirene urges parents to give their kids a broad spectrum of sports from a young age

When I discuss what I do as a didi rugby coach in the Crewe and Nantwich communities, I get some parents saying to me: “That sounds good. Unfortunately, my son/daughter is a footballer.

If I had a pound for every time I had heard that, I would be a lot better off.

Don’t worry, this is not going to be one of those football-baiting blogs, which parades the benefits of rugby over the round-ball sport.

Far from it.

Football is one of my favourite sports and the incredible beauty of it, is it can be played absolutely anywhere.

There are loads of community football organisations which run fantastic clubs. Most importantly, these organisations are inspiring kids and getting them active. My own son Zach attends one of them and he loves his time there.

didi rugby kids get ready to kick a ball – just like footballers do

But just because your child plays football, it doesn’t mean they can’t play rugby too.

In so many sports, there are fundamental skill cross-overs, like spatial awareness, balance and co-ordination, stamina, pace, ball control (whether that be with your hands or your feet), not to mention values such as teamwork, respect and discipline and most crucially the ability to listen and be coached.

Zach takes part in a whole host of sports and I would love him to do more of them.

This summer, he is really hoping to have a go at cricket and tennis. Two sports that are often played alongside one another. I am yet to hear any parent tell me that their child “can’t play cricket because they play tennis instead”.

Different sports

After all, how will Zach know what he is going to enjoy the most until he actually has a chance to try it? Giving them the chance to try different sports is so important because it enables them to gain so many different skills that they can use in later life on and off the sports field.

So who is to say that because you play football, you can’t also enjoy rugby?

We have many kids that come along to our didi rugby sessions who play both sports, some even on the same morning!

I fully appreciate that the wallet or purse can only stretch so far, but I urge you to try and give your children the opportunity to play sports like rugby – even if you, and them, only have football in your hearts at the minute.