School Rugby Tours – What Do They Involve?

School rugby tours are becoming an increasingly popular activity, lauded by both students and educators. Here are some FAQs and responses.
What do school rugby tours involve?
There may be different patterns of tours available. Broadly speaking, they will involve taking a party of youngsters out of their normal school environment to somewhere that specialises in the coaching and playing of rugby. During their stay, they will receive specialist coaching and tuition plus the opportunity to participate in friendly matches against local sides.
Where are the venues?
The destinations may be in a number of European countries including Spain, Italy and London. The venues are typically in rural or suburban areas but are also normally within easy reach of a major city and related attractions.
Is the focus exclusively on rugby?
No. Young people, however much they may enjoy their sport, typically need other things to provide distraction and entertainment. These school rugby tours are often seen as part of a broader objective of heightening cross-cultural awareness and that means visiting local historical and cultural centres. This is one reason why venues are specifically chosen, in part, for their geographical position and proximity to suitable attractions as well as their sporting expertise.
Who is in charge of the children while they are there?
Tours are typically conventionally organised with an appointed leader plus helpers where appropriate. These individuals accompany the group and are responsible for the safety and behaviour of the pupils under their charge. The sporting centre and its staff are responsible for providing the coaching and environment.
Why can’t the children do the same thing in their normal school environment?
Typical schools may struggle to provide extremely specialised coaching expertise. Even if they can, children will benefit from seeing alternative approaches and other cultural values, which may be applied to participation in rugby or whichever sport is involved.
What about sports safety?
All the coaches at the centres are fully experienced and qualified in sports tuition.
Of course, any physical contact sport may involve the risk of injury, even when exhaustive measures are taken to try and prevent it. The centres will have first aid facilities and people that are trained to use them.
What about fitness levels?
If young people are participating in school rugby tours then presumably their parents, care providers and tour leaders will have confidence in their physical ability to engage in the training regimes involved.
Experienced sports coaches know very well that not all individuals are capable of the same degree of exertion and achievement. They will be aware of this and adjust their demands and activities accordingly. Nevertheless, when it comes to school rugby tours, the centres will presume that any health-related issues have been identified by parents and leaders before departure. These need to brought to the centre’s attention prior to or upon arrival.

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