6 Reasons Why Rugby is Great for Girls

At first thought, rugby may evoke visions of muscular men, grass-stained and scowling, grappling with an oval ball in a muddy field. A dainty pastime, it’s certainly not–but that’s part of the appeal of this nearly two-hundred-year-old sport among young women seeking an athletic experience that’s challenging, empowering and not the least bit ‘girly.’

As reported by CNN, rugby is the fastest-growing team sport in the country, and women’s rugby, specifically, is keeping pace. World Rugby estimates over 2.3 million women currently playing globally. Here in the U.S., women’s participation in the sport has demonstrated “regular and sustainable growth” since 2006, according to the NCAA.

Check out six reasons why rugby is great for girls–and maybe even your own daughter.

It Promotes Equality

It Boosts Self Esteem

Rugby can teach a girl just how powerful her own unique body can be, with positions requiring size and strength equally as important as those which test speed and agility. Body type aside, any player who is dedicated and diligent can succeed.

Rugby is Affordable

Rugby is an inexpensive sport to add to a school’s athletic program, and for the players themselves–or, more likely, their parents–it also requires a refreshingly small investment. When it comes to equipment, players typically only need shirts and shorts, cleats, a ball and a mouth guard.

It Encourages Resilience

As with all sports, being knocked down and getting right back up again builds resilience in young rugby players. This particular sport, however, once had a reputation for being quite rough–and maybe too rough for girls.
“USA Rugby has gone to great lengths to make the sport safer by such actions as consistently researching and implementing safe tackling techniques, and requiring our coaches to have specific levels of education based on the level of play. The majority of our laws are written to ensure the safety of the game and are constantly being updated.”

Girls Make Friends for Life

Often, a player who takes up rugby in middle or high school develops a lifelong love of the game. Girls, in particular, are known to form sorority-like bonds with their teammates. In addition, rugby leagues and communities that support them are built-in around the world, helping even the most far-flung destination feel like home.

It’s Empowering

All this adds up to a sport that’s empowering for young women of all ages. Rugby offers girls the chance to boost self-esteem, build resilience and form a support system–and that’s not all. What’s the most important lesson a girl who plays rugby can learn? As Coach Savage says, “If she chooses, she can be unstoppable.”

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