The Singapore Junior Rugby Scene
Rugby and Touch Rugby have both grown enormously in the last few years in Singapore, not only in the number of clubs on offer, but also the sheer number of young people wanting to play, both locals and expats.
Which rugby club is right for my child?
If you are moving to Singapore in the near future or your kid has sparked an interest then take a good look online at rugby clubs. Remember this is just a brief snapshot and nothing beats trying for yourself – it’s much better to get down and meet the team!
The rugby club calendar is split into three terms and runs from January to December. Most rugby clubs run open days at the beginning of a new term or let you try a few sessions for free. Clubs usually run groups from a very young age from 3 years old right up to 17 years of age.
If you are local or know you’ll be in Singapore for a long time you might want to consider if the club offers your child opportunities to play post 17 years. Ask if there is a Colts section (Under 19s) or an adult rugby section to move onto and continue playing post 17 years of age.
Look at what kind of mix the rugby club encourages. Singapore can be a transient place and a good mix of locals as well as expat players brings consistency to a team, as well as the opportunity for your kids to make new friends.
Yes, toddlers can play rugby! Learning social skills is a huge part of growing up and rugby is great for doing this. Toddler rugby training should be fun – it might appear like “organised chaos” (to quote one of our coaches) but toddlers learn to listen, follow instructions and play as a team. A good training session for toddlers should start early when its cooler and they have plenty of energy. Get their adrenalin pumping first thing and the rest of the day will take care of itself!
‘Bringing the core values of rugby into a child’s life early on can make a huge difference. Rugby is the perfect sport to be able to teach character education because it’s built on teamwork and respect.’ Former Saracens captain and England player, Hugh Vyvyan.SCC Teams
Don’t forget fun!
When your child is trying out a rugby club look at how much they are enjoying it as well as learning skills and drills. Is your child standing around for lots of the session or given the opportunity to get stuck in?
Look carefully at how coaches talk to and engage with children and how this suits the personality of your child. You want a coach who is not just intent upon the team winning, but instead teaches them sporting values and to win with pride and lose with dignity.
Being part of a team is a special experience and fosters life skills of listening and cooperating. It builds confidence, self-discipline and teaches young people how to deal with disappointment and conflict. And no matter what skill or experienc your kid has at rugby or touch they should always feel like a valued member of the team.
“A good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life” John Wooden. Wooden was a basketball coach but it’s a moto which can be universally applied. Many clubs rely on enthusiastic dads and mums for coaching (many of whom have played rugby themselves and may have subsequently become qualified coaches), but kids can often benefit from additional role models – look and see if the rugby club has coaches on board who are currently playing rugby to a high level for their Club (and often representing Singapore) and can bring some fresh ideas and experience to the mix.
Don’t be afraid to ask if the coaches are qualified and whether they have played rugby themselves or, even better, are still playing. Look at the structure of the rugby club. Is there a head coach with a clear mission of where the club is going? Are there any specialist coaches, like for strength & conditioning, forwards / backs or a specialist 7s coach?Discover Our Coaches
Where is the club and what’s the social scene?
Rugby clubs typically train on Saturday mornings / afternoons or Sunday mornings. Look and see if there’s a mid-week training session offered too. What’s the training ground like and is it convenient for you?
If your child is younger or you’ve just arrived in Singapore you might see joining a rugby club as a chance for you as well as your child to make friends and be a part of something. Look at the social events going on, volunteer opportunities and what charities and outreach programmes the club is involved in.
Wherever you touch down on the Singapore rugby or touch scene, have fun!
SCC Rugby Academy: Respect All, Fear None.