My four, nearly five, year old has made friends with a boy at school who has a father from New Zealand. The dad has persudaed me that it is never too early to begin rugby training, so this Saturday morning we took both boys along to the Oberon Sports Ground for Super Saturday Minnows Tag Rugby - mine in his Welsh jersey and his friend in an All Blacks top.
It was a really fine morning. The "tags" in tag rugby are streamers that the boys have attached to belts with velcro. There are two tags attached to each belt. Grabbing, removing and keeping hold of a tag is equivalent to a tackle as real physical contact is frowned upon until they are older.
The funniest thing of the day was the first drill. It was a game in which if someone tapped you between the shoulders with the ball, you were frozen and had to stay still until the end of the game or until someone "unfroze" you by crawling between your legs.
The instructor explained the rules thoroughly enough but failed to introduce the concept of the pitch so when he blew the whistle to start the game our two - reasonably enough - just took to the hills to avoid being caught. We had to chase after them as they were disappearing over the hoizon.
They got the hang of it later. I wish I had taken a camera. The first time that you see your little boy running towards the opposition with the ball tucked under his arm and his jaw set in determination is one of the pearls that you thread to make your life story.
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