Rugby code wars are mindless
159 Have your say
There are occasionally rugby ‘code war’ outbreaks. Maybe we can put a end to it with a reasoned argument. The two versions of rugby are now so dissimilar that they operate in different environments.
For a start, league has become a made-for-television product with all the marketing, hoopla and jazz, which is precisely where rugby will never venture without a great deal of thought beforehand.
We do not want the side effects of being in the entertainment industry. We would rather be an enjoyable process where youngsters can use our sport as a valuable tool in the process of self discovery on the journey towards adulthood.
Professional sports tend to drive the less-than-perfect juniors away from all sport because the ultimate goal of selection to the senior levels being denied means they will seek other pursuits. All youngsters should play sport and continue from school to club participation.
Of the winter codes, union can be played for fun and a level can be found for anyone. As their confidence and strength grows they may then dream of selection to higher levels.
It is a deeply held principle of union that it is a sport for all shapes and sizes for the qualities of manhood are held and made manifest between the ears.
Rugby union is technically difficult to master. That is part of the reasoning behind the game. We challenge people to be able to think on their feet accurately and quickly whilst tired, pressured, somewhat dehydrated, bruised and with many other voices calling out around them.
Those are qualities found in every leader. These adults go on to other pursuits with a very clear sense of self and purpose helping them to meet the various challenges and rise as high as their other attributes allow in those fields.
Rugby is also designed to be relatively safe to play. We do not allow tackling or actions which are calculated to injure. Though it is rough, bones and skin occasionally will be broken, it still is a place to test a young persons willingness to put his body on the line and come to the realisation that pain is temporary and bearable.
The above argument is understood by many other leaders. It is why Union is expanding throughout the globe and finds sponsors amongst those seeking executives and team builders.
Being entertained is ephemeral, extracts money from the punters and is soon forgotten by the majority. Being prepared for life at the sharp end lasts a lifetime.
So before you try to insist this is an attack on the NRL, AFL et al, reflect on the above.
Union has become professional unwillingly: it took some serious human frailties in the home counties, a panic attack in the southern hemisphere for it to occur.
The founding raison d’etre for league was to compensate injured players who played rugby. Had our early administrators not been so short-sighted we would not be having these tedious code wars.
Rugby union can, and does, co-exist with all other sports. We know we add value to those who join us – that altruistic goal is our biggest strength.
We would like to be more popular but as most would readily admit, rugby is better as a player than as an observer, that is precisely as it should be.
There will always be some who do not ‘get’ other sports, yours truly included, but my lack of appreciation for basketball, soccer, league and Aussie Rules does not mean I dislike them.
I just don’t enjoy them, so I don’t bother to watch.
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