Why the benefits of contact sports outweigh the risks

The Rugby Union World Cup is about to get underway and thousands of children will be glued to the screen watching their heroes take part in one of the most physical sports in the world. Meanwhile, parents may be concerned about their offspring choosing rugby as their favourite sport, so what are the advantages of taking part in the game as opposed to the potential dangers?

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Risk of injury

Although there is always the risk of injury in contact sport there are also many benefits and the latter can outweigh the former. More importantly the governing bodies around the world are keen to reduce any risks to health and promote the benefits.

In recent years the danger of concussion on the pitch has come to the fore but the Rugby Football Union (RFU) are world leaders in taking precautions to protect participants in the sport, and their guidance has ensured that families and coaches are aware of the signs and symptoms of such an injury.

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The RFU claims that new programmes in force in schools and junior rugby have reduced injuries and concussions.

The University of Bath has been involved in the research which has seen injuries reduced by over 70{c2a61f452e4a6e9fba5aa16a29f009d37f9f133acbe5653b39ae446aabb567d0} and concussions down by 59{c2a61f452e4a6e9fba5aa16a29f009d37f9f133acbe5653b39ae446aabb567d0}. Over 1,000 clubs and coaches have now signed up for the programme.

Coaches are at the forefront of making sure players are safe and rugby drills can be found at sites such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/rugby.

Mutual respect

Participants and parents should also look at the benefits of taking part in sports such as rugby union. Players learn the benefits of teamwork and mutual respect which they will take forward into other areas of their life. Understanding the discipline required to excel at the sport and the organisation involved are life-skills which are transferable to other areas.

The confidence which players gain through performing well add to an improvement in self-image increasingly important nowadays as individuals are increasingly impacted by social media.

It goes without saying that there are benefits to be gained from regular exercise and taking part in a team environment. To ensure that benefits outweigh risk it is important to have your say and are vocal about safety. This applies to players, parents and coaches. Discussing safety is not a sign of weakness, it is just plain common sense.