Writer: Solenne S.
Visuals: Raina H.
Editor: Lucas D.
Rugby is one of the most popular sports offered in the ISM community and participation rates are high year on year. The school’s love for the sport is made obvious by the fact that there are four teams: U15, JV, Varsity Binturongs, and Varsity Bearcats. Like all sports, the players are prone to injuries during their vigorous training sessions and their heated competitions. BT interviewed one of the head coaches and a returning IASAS player to get some insight into the safety aspect of the game.
With his strong passion for the game, Mr. Brown coaches two of the four teams: the Varsity Binturongs and JV. In order for his players to avoid injuries, Mr. Brown says the coaches “teach the players how to fall so they are prevented from breaking their wrists.” In addition, he says, “The players must do conditioning and develop their core strength.” On top of these preventative measures, Mr. Pekin of the ATAC office requires all ISM coaches to take a concussion protocol course.The coaching staff’s emphasis on safety has definitely contributed to ISM rugby’s impressive results. The varsity team made it to the IASAS finals four years in a row and is at a high-enough caliber to compete with club rugby teams in older age groups.
The most common injuries occur in the head or ankles, along with many stretched muscles and bruises. To prevent these injuries, IASAS player Amanu S. says, “I stretch and warm up 20 minutes prior to every training and game, tape both my ankles, and occasionally tape my wrists.” Aside from this, players must wear a mouthguard for protection and can choose to wear a scrum cap. With the players using protective gear, the frequency and severity of injury has been reduced to similar levels as sports with much less contact.
Confident in their coaches and in their gear to keep them safe, the players are willing to leave their blood, sweat, and tears on the field for that IASAS gold medal. BT wishes all the coaches and players the best of luck for the rest of this season.