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Rugby's future Role Models
1 August 2016

Rugby WA: Foundation Elective Workshop

1 August 2016, RugbyWA
Story by Maia Simmonds, WAIS athlete, World Championship and World Cup Australian Rowing Team representative
Garry and I had the chance to meet some of our up and coming Rugby boys at the RugbyWA Building on Monday night. I love working with team sports and seeing the different dynamics that are unique to each sport and also so different from my world in a racing sport like rowing.

The boys were enthusiastic and engaged in all the discussions and activities with great energy. It was great to see the positive and supportive team culture already developed amongst the group.

Our first area of exploration was that of Communication. The boys worked in groups to lead a blindfolded team member in traversing an object strewn room through to the front door. The result was far speedier and involved less collisions with tables and doorways than I anticipated. Obviously used to responding to teammates when in action, the true test arose when we attempted some tongue twisting Chinese Whispers. Here we saw the challenge of listening and taking in information. What made this interesting for me is that communication across an 80 minute game that has stops and starts is far removed from the one word instructions it is possible to get across during a maximal 7 minute race. The importance of communication and trust is vital in each but manifests in different ways.

We also talked about Respect and how we show that in our lives, training and competition. It was awesome to see how strongly the group valued respecting opponents and especially the umpires in their game.

We began our discussions on Role Models and Personal Branding with a few rounds of Celebrity Heads. The speed of successful guessing showed the unity of the boys and how well they knew each other’s train of thought, although poor "Harambe’ proved a step too far!

Identifying what characteristics they valued in each other and sought to be associated with themselves showed the real maturity and culture of the group. When asked to pick three characteristics they would like to be recognized for, the common response was ‘humble’. The ability to strive for humbleness whilst achieving your best performance in a very physical sport was inspiring for me to see. I have no doubt these boys have exciting and successful sporting and life careers ahead of them, and I look forward to seeing those journeys!

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