Year 7 is a step change for our children, with new schools, new peer groups and increased levels of expectation in all areas: academic, sporting and cultural.

It’s also quite an adjustment for us parents as we try to navigate all these new activities and expectations. So, I’d like to provide some information that might help you and your child when you’re making decisions about your busy schedules.

Can my child play both school and club rugby?

Yes, of course! There are many benefits of playing both school and club rugby.

Social: The club is a different peer group for our children and it spans multiple schools. What a great way for them to create diverse social circles. And for parents and children alike, being part of the club means we’re members of the Old Ruts family. We’re about more than just rugby, we’re a community – and we hope that you and your child will still be part of that community long after he leaves school.

Different coaches: Having different coaches with different coaching philosophies, styles and skills is a great benefit for our children. While the best rugby schools have top quality coaches, they’re more the exception than the rule. Having club coaching as a complement to school coaching gives children the best of both worlds.

Health: NHS guidelines state that children should have at least 60 minutes of activity a day. Playing rugby at school in the afternoons, playing a match and maybe a training session over the weekend is a great way to keep fit and healthy.

Is there a risk of playing too much rugby?

Yes, there is. You wouldn’t want your child playing full intensity, competitive matches on both Saturdays and Sundays as they need time to recover between matches. Doing so consistently would increase their risk of injury.

So how do we prioritise school and club matches?

How you decide to prioritise matches is entirely up to you and your child. But this is obviously not a new question and to help clubs and schools minimise conflicts, the RFU introduced the Playing Calendar

The Playing Calendar sets out a series of “windows” throughout the season, during which either clubs or schools can arrange their important fixtures. It provides a model which supports inclusivity of all players, guards against overplaying and underplaying and limits conflict between club and school rugby, maintaining choice for players to play with their peer groups.

Schools and Clubs each have 14 weeks over the season but, as you will see in the full calendar below, schools get a few more weeks in the first half of the season, and clubs get more in the second half.

Clubs and schools can arrange fixtures at any time during the season but the idea is that they should arrange their matches during their respective windows.

For example, all of our Festivals and Waterfall Cup matches fall into the Clubs Window so we would hope our players would be able to play those matches. But we’d also understand that they might not make some of the “friendlies” that we’ll be playing during the Schools Windows, if their schools have important fixtures arranged.

Your child comes first

Again, how you balance this is up to you and your child. And it’s important to us that the needs of your child come first.
Please do talk to us so we can understand his level of involvement in rugby at school and identify any issues before they arise.

If you think it would be beneficial, I would be more than happy to speak to the school coach so that we can discuss the school/club balance and find the best solution for your child. Please feel free to send them my details.
We want to work with you and your child’s other coaches to make sure that his overall experience of rugby is one of enjoyment and that he’ll continue to benefit from it for years to come.

Best regards

Stu Campbell
Old Ruts Rugby
Club Coaching Coordinator
07900 606 456