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Rugby Team blindsides gender stereotypes

Posted By Helen Holmes On April 15, 2009 @ 4:28 am In Sports | Comments Disabled

Teaming up with Needham High School, Newton South is in the process of recruiting players to welcome a new spring sport to its ranks: Girls’ Rugby.

So far many girls, including girls from all classes, freshmen and seniors alike, have attended meetings and clinics to take part in this experience.

They are very enthusiastic about getting this new sport up and running.

At the first organized practice on April 5, prospective players were introduced to college-level rugby players from Boston University and Boston College.

The girls learned the basic skills and rules of rugby. They also participated in training games that required speed, arm strength, and power on the field.

The lessons proved to be helpful for those unfamiliar to the sport and allowed the girls to become more comfortable with one another.

Rugby is a game of skill, strategy, and hard-hitting ferocity.

If tackling is not learned and executed in the right way, serious injury is possible. There is little or no protection in rugby, so players have a much higher risk of getting hurt.

Players must learn to move with their bodies and not throw themselves at other players, similar to football. Players must understand the risks of playing this high-risk contact sport.

Originating in Northern England, the sport is now played in over 150 countries around the world. Rugby has 59 rules, unlike soccer, which has just seven core rules.

Needham was the first school to take the initiative to start the local rugby team, but it was only able to attract three players. Head coach Diana Parker looked to Newton South for help, and so far, 15 girls have been added to the lineup.

“It’s good for girls to be players because girls are using the same techniques as boys. That means less discrimination against girls, freshman rugby player Paris Caldwell said.

The rugby team is now recruiting girls from West Newton, Watertown, and Newton North, as well as from Newton South.

The team hopes to dissuade critics of female participation in rugby. They seek to eradicate gender-based judgement and to break down stereotypical barriers about female roles in this sport.

Having minimal options in high school contact sports, the girls feel that the rugby team will give them an opportunity to exert themselves competitively and physically without preconceived judgment of the role of women in extreme contact athletics.

With that being said, the girls have bright hopes about the team’s future in the sport.

Rugby, a more internationally acclaimed sport in nations liked Great Britain and New Zealand, is being praised for its strong impact in the United States, especially in female culture.

Women now receive a fair chance to deliver hard hits and make game-changing blocks without judgment based on their gender.

The introduction of the game to the US has brought a new meaning to female contact sports, and new light to gender barriers.

The girls can now play a contact sport without the stigma of playing a “boys’ sport.

This is an opportunity that girls all over have been waiting for, and the girls rugby team has made that a reality.

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Article printed from Denebola: http://www.denebolaonline.net

URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/04/15/rugby-team-blindsides-gender-stereotypes/

URLs in this post:

[1] Rugby earning recognition as South sport: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/05/21/rugby-earning-recognition-as-south-sport/

[2] Ultimate frisbee team catches on at South: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/05/13/ultimate-frisbee-team-catches-on-at-south/

[3] Golf and rugby to be Olympic sports: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/09/30/golf-and-rugby-to-be-olympic-sports/

[4] Powderpuff ignites controversy over gender roles: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/powderpuff-ignites-controversy-over-gender-roles/

[5] A fresh take on the yearly Powderpuff debate: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/a-fresh-take-on-the-yearly-powderpuff-debate/

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