On Sunday my very gorgeous and very competitive 8 year old son stood on a sporting stadium stand in the glaring heat of a fabulous April day, and accepted a trophy as his team were crowned winners of an under 8s tag rugby festival.
It was one of those heart stirring Mummy Moments when you literally put your hand to your chest and catch your breath as that little boy you always think of as your baby, stands shoulder to shoulder with his team mates and reminds you just how much he’s growing up.
I love that my boy loves rugby.
I love the fun it gives him, the outdoor life, the discipline and the fist pumping joy.
Of course, not all the boys behave this well.
My husband for example.
My husband is a TAG rugby coach and spends hours of his free time training these boys together with his good friend Andy.
They are very keen for the boys to enjoy the sport in a safe and nurturing environment, where they want to achieve and they have a passion to play but know respect and, just as importantly, how to lose gracefully.
A directive comes from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for coaches to be mindful of bad behaviour amongst parents on the touchline as well as other coaches (they can get very competitive even with charges of just 7 and 8 years old).
I’m guessing the RFU want to nip anything in the bud before it gains the rather black reputation football in the UK has these days (my son also plays football, so we have experience of both).
So at Sunday’s match hubby overhears some parents shouting “cheaters” from the touchline for all the players to hear, when the referee stops the game right in front of them.
So donning his RFU directive cap, hubby wanders over to the group of parents when the game finishes and says: “Hey guys, I don’t think that’s very sportsmanlike behaviour is it? Shouting ‘cheaters’ at young boys?”
He’s met with blank looks. Then the realisation obviously creeps across the parents’ faces and one of them says: “But it’s the name of our team! We are the Cheetahs!”
And as my husband stands there cringing with embarrassment, he’s also chuckling along with them all and the hilariousness of it all and I am reminded of exactly why I love that my boy loves rugby.