Playing sport in my household is mandatory. Both my husband and I grew up playing everything under the sun; it was how we let off steam, practised different skills and got to spend time with our friends on the weekends. Now that we have a child of our own, she too is getting a taste of everything that sport has to offer.
Last year it was AFL, the year before that it was soccer. This year she’s tossing up between netball and junior rugby league however, when we mention junior league to other parents (especially those with girls), they sometimes raise an eyebrow or wince in pain. When I ask why, it’s the usual suspects – “It’s so dangerous!”, “That’s not a game for girls!”, “She’s going to get hurt!”
After hearing the same things over and over again I decided two things:
1. My daughter can play whatever she wants.
2. Kids play rugby league differently. What you see on TV – a competitive sports match between adults – is a different ball game (pardon the pun).
I collected my friends’ concerns and enlisted the help of someone who knew first hand about junior league: Roxanne Black, Under 6’s Coach of the All Saints Toongabbie Tigers and super mum to three kids who all play rugby league (U6’s, U’11s and U14’s). And guess what? Two of them are girls. Squeeee!
Let's bust some myths.
Myth 1: It's dangerous and aggressive.
The most common thing that a lot of parents I know fear is that rugby league is dangerous. They worry that it’s all head knocks, busted shoulders and bloody mouths when in reality, as Roxanne says, all sports come with their risks.