Today I felt the chest aching pride of a mother whose son is a sportsman.
I stood in the freezing cold of a December day watching my boy compete in his very first rugby tournament, on a day I thought his dad would burst with pride.
I bellowed, I cheered, I raced down the sidelines, I whooped with joy at every try. I barely noticed that I was losing the sensation in the ends of my fingers.
At this age they play tag rugby. The players wear strips of material attached to belts with Velcro and there is no tackling, you ‘tackle’ by pulling off an opponent’s tag.
Hubby was one of the coaches pulling them into a huddle on the freezing cold sidelines of the pitch as the 10 boys who have never played a proper match against an opposition before (let alone a tournament) prepared to do battle against 4 other local teams.
Our boys beat the odds to make it to the final.
They were rewarded by being asked to form the ‘guard of honour’ for the home club’s professionals as they sprinted out to play their league game.
Our little men dwarfed by huge professionals.
And at half time, as the beefy players left the field for their oranges or whatever rugby players recharge with, there were our boys, in the full glare of the stadium lights, playing their little hearts out.
They lost the match 4-2, but as they sprinted off that pitch, smeared in mud, wet from the light rain and jogging slightly slower from tired tired legs, I thought to myself ‘THIS is why it’s so bloody great to be the mother of a cheeky little boy with a love of sport’.