BeRugby magazine for your rugby mad kids

BeRugby Blog

Rugby mum
BeRugby Blog

Rugby mum’s on tour!

It’s tour weekend!! I’m sitting on a coach, exhausted, on my way back from another epic Syston Minis tour.  I was one of 250 parents, players, and coaches who converged on sunny Bournemouth for three days of rugby fun and shenanigans!

This was an especially memorable trip for the U12s, as it’s the last Minis tour before we become Juniors next season. As you can imagine, it was very lively. But while I would love to divulge some of the madness that actually went on…what goes on tour, stays on tour.

But silliness there definitely was…if anyone had ever told me that on the blow of a whistle I would be doing the dying fly and flossing in public, I would have told them to dream on…but I certainly did…many times.

I had somehow avoided going on tour for our first few years at Syston. We were still getting used to rugby for a few years, so almost everything we experienced at the Club was new to us. And judging from the pitch-side rumours I decided that tour is definitely not for me. But things changed, and here I am piled into a coach with all of the U12’s singing Wonderwall in unison—again.

One in, all in

While I was never going to find this comfortable, I was persuaded to give touring a go by a much more seasoned rugby mum. Our lovely Heather is the person who knows and does everything for our team. She’s a Mother Hen to all the boys and the go-to for everyone else. Sensing my hesitation to experience a Minis tour for myself, Heather sold it to me from her own experiences with her eldest son. “It’s the musketeer principle…rugby encourages ‘one in, all in’” she said “Rugby friendships are life long, strong bonds – my son’s rugby friends are always there for him, and tour helps everyone come together as one.” As a rugby parent, we all want our child to be confident in their game and feel part of the club. So I bit the bullet and signed up, and have loved it ever since.

Team Building

While playing games and training forms the team, touring together forms the family.

Hugely beneficial for the team members, tour is fundamental for their bonding. On and off the pitch, the boys spend quality time together, develop friendships and connect over shared triumphs and disappointment. Putting games consoles aside, they eat, sleep, travel, and play as a team, getting to know each other on a much deeper level.

Coach has the final say

Rugby mumPleasantly for us, it’s a weekend where rugby mums don’t really need to worry. On my first tour I noticed that while we were responsible for our children, the coaches brought the players together as a unit. Sitting with his team mates, under the watchful eye of his coaches, he was touring – not as my little boy – but as a Syston team member. From quizzes, party tricks to the actual rugby games, on tour, coaches keep the team under their wing. They ensure the players are safe, respectful, wear their club shirts with pride, call the referees ‘Sir’, and shake hands with their opponents after the game.

Families enjoying sport

Uniquely, being together for three days of light-hearted fun and dressing up is an opportunity for rugby families to get to know each other better—not just the team, but across year groups. It’s a real family atmosphere for parents, coaches and players to socialise in a laid-back environment, building stronger relationships than they might have done on a Sunday morning at the Club.

Touring together, all wearing the same shirt makes you proud to be part of a rugby club and gives you a sense of belonging. Having now experienced three Minis tours I can truly say that even beyond the silliness, challenges and dressing up, it contributes to a feeling of being valued, welcome, and part of the wider rugby community.

A special thank you to Oakmedians Rugby Football Club and Andover RFC for hosting us this weekend!Rugby mum

Rugby mum
BeRugby Blog

Mother’s Day: In honour of the pitch-side mums

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and my social media is bombarded with pictures of kids making breakfast to be served in bed, and cute afternoon teas…

For rugby mums however, this is far from reality.

I was pulled aside this morning by my son’s Coach, Lee, affectionally known as Winto. “Nima, fancy a real treat for Mother’s Day next week?” He grinned cheekily, towering over me. For a moment I had visions of a transformed Clubhouse…of a beautiful afternoon tea laid out on round tables. I even ventured to imagine the mums being served by our boys, all nice and clean, in crisp white shirts and Syston ties.

Rugby mum“Kitchen duty,” he bellowed, dashing my far-fetched dreams.

Oh yes, it had slipped my mind. The U12s are on the rota for Mothers’ Day to serve up food and teas in the Clubhouse all morning…and we lose an hour of sleep!

Fact is, for most rugby mums, Mother’s Day is business as usual. Rather than dreamy cuddles and insta-worthy bouquets of flowers, we’ll be wrapping up, dragging the kids out of bed, and shooting over to the Club for a morning of rugby.

Will we be optimistic enough to hope for some Spring sun? I wouldn’t dare. But surely we can at least pray for no rain? Being a rugby parent means we’ve long said goodbye to lazy Sunday mornings, whatever the occasion, and whatever the weather.

But it’s far from miserable…if it was, we wouldn’t be doing it, would we? Instead of a mushy Mother’s Day full of pink rosy stuff, I’ll be having a sort of communal celebration of rugby-mum-hood with all of the other mums and dads at the Club.

As we do every Sunday, we’ll be on the touchlines for Mothering Sunday, in a sort of rugby-parent-bond. Together, we’ll be kitted out in our scarves and wellies, cheering on our kids, while sipping lukewarm coffee in our keep-cups. This is the real Mother’s Day deal for rugby mums, and it’s a lot of fun.

We’ll dutifully return home, laden with gifts of dirty kit, boots, and bibs. But once the last traces of mud are out of sight, I’m hoping—and will be dropping plenty of hints—for some well-deserved R&R.

Mother’s Day might not be what the glossy brochures are made of, but rugby mums are made of tough stuff. And there’s nothing more lovable than a Mother’s Day cuddle from your favourite muddy rugby player.

Whatever you’re up to on Mothering Sunday, wishing you all a lovely Mother’s Day.

Are you having a rugby-themed Mother’s Day? Don’t forget to let us know! You can even Tweet what you’re up to. Tag us on @BeRugbyMagazine #MothersDay #RugbyMum

Nima Suchak

Rugby mum
BeRugby Blog, Latest Rugby News & Articles

How did I become a real rugby mum?

Thank you to the team at BeRugby Mag for trusting me and letting me loose on their blog. My name is Nima Suchak, and while I have been a pitch-side mumsy cheerleader for the last seven years, unlike some of the real rugby pundits at BRM Towers, I’m still ‘learning on the job’.

 My son has been playing for Syston RFC since he was  five, and is now in the U12s. My daughter is 10, and has been playing for Leicester Tigers Swifts for the past year (I’ll fill you in on what she’s doing another week!).

 It’s Saturday evening, and we’ve just watched England devour Italy in the Six Nations 2019. In all the euphoria, I’ve made a mental note to check that my son’s boots and mouth guard are in his kit bag…it’s an early start at the Club tomorrow.

But I have to admit, while rugby has become a massive part of our lives, it was never on the books for us. We are not a sporty family, and have hardly paid any passing attention to the game, but now it dominates our weekends!

Having moved from London to Leicester, it was clear to see the real action here was around rugby. As a parent, I knew the value of competitive sports, and ideally wanted my children to be involved in something that would be good for their personal growth. My cousin plays cricket for the County, and evidently sports did a lot for him. Beside being conscious of healthy eating and exercise, sports has kept him out of trouble. He couldn’t spend too much time on consoles or hang around on the streets looking for entertainment. There was always training and matches to attend. What stood out for me most was that sports gave him another set of people to look out for him, and look up to—a great set of friends, coaches and other like-minded parents.

So, once my son turned five, on a warm Autumn Sunday morning, we rocked up at Syston RFC, with little idea of what to expect. This was our first experience of a rugby club in action, and knew absolutely nothing about what it might entail.

It was indeed, a shock to the system. Was I prepared for the cold, the mud, or the time invested? No, not one bit. But what did drive me was the promise of rugby being a gentlemen’s game. I was rightly convinced that rugby would be good for him.

Being new to the culture of rugby there have naturally been moments when I’ve questioned if what I was doing was right. My ‘then’ gentle and very academic five-year-old boy would much rather have been snuggled at home, nose-in-book. He seemed unsure, almost frightened. I watched him like a hawk, cheering him on, encouraging him to step out of his comfort zone. There were times that we drove all the way to the club on a Sunday, and he refused to join in. I’m embarrassed to admit that one day I actually interrupted Manu Tuilagi and Logovi’i Mulipola in Costa while they were in mid-conversation to get their autographs to encourage my son!

The turning point for my lad was in his second season when he started to make friends at the Club. Putting the actual rugby playing aside, it’s what happened off pitch that made the difference. It was as simple as having hot chips and a fizzy drink in the clubhouse, climbing trees, building dens or sitting together chatting about video games.

Now, seven years on, I’m pleased to say sticking to rugby at Syston RFC has been one of the best choices we have made. The Club and the friendly value-based culture of rugby has been nothing but positive for my son, even at the most challenging of times.

 I know some might say I was wrong to coax a five-year-old into a sport he cared so little about, but checking that he was always happy, growing in confidence in a fantastic environment can’t be bad, can it?  

Rugby Mum
BeRugby Blog

The life of a rugby mum episode 11

Rugby mum

Happy birthday to our awesome rugby mum!

Apologies for my recent absence, life has been pretty manic over the last weeks, my birthday was just the start of the manicness (is that even a word?) and I mention it because I was at a rugby festival at our club for most of the day, my rugby family came up trumps!  One of my fellow rugby Mum’s made me a birthday cake, the Under 10’s sang Happy Birthday to me under the posts and my Godfather got the welcome I knew he would from our Chair and First Team Captain! Epic day, I loved it!  This was phase one of busy times I won’t bore you with the rest!

Read more

Rugby Mum
BeRugby Blog

The life of a rugby mum. Episode 10

I must be mad! Its ok I can hear all that know me wholeheartedly agreeing with that statement because it is a fact! But let me explain why in this particular instance.

We all know I love rugby and we all know I love ‘my boys’ as I affectionately refer to our first team. Well because of my love for both I decided in my infinite wisdom to arrange for the kids to carry out a guard of honour.  When I suggested that I do this I wasn’t aware just how much I would end up stressing over it!

You see our first team had a big quarter final game against Royston RFC in the National Junior Vase, and if they get through to the final they end up playing at the hallowed ground of Twickenham – no pressure lads! As this was a home game I wanted to do something nice for them that brought the club together.

Read more

Rugby Mum
BeRugby Blog

The life of a rugby mum. Episode 9

First of all, let me start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year! It feels like forever since I shared my last musings on life as a rugby Mum and as you can imagine a lot has happened in that time. The most obvious being Christmas and New Year but we also had Remembrance Sunday, my college course started ‘proper’ and that thing called life!

Read more

Rugby Mum
BeRugby Blog

The life of a Rugby Mum – Episode 8

Well following a lovely week in the sun in Lanzarote my rugby dude was away to Thanet Wanderers RFU this week and boy was I feeling the difference in the weather!

We spent much of our time discussing our various ways of keeping warm whilst watching our respective rugby kids! It was established that we have various grades of coat, this ranges from the lightweight waterproof, all the way through to the heavy duty all weather, furry hooded, fleece lined kind of coat that resembles a sleeping bag!

Read more

Rugby Mum
BeRugby Blog

The life of a Rugby Mum – Episode 7

I’ve started drafting this blog three times now, let’s hope it’s third time lucky! I was going to rant about the recent suggestion that contact rugby be banned in schools, I ended up boring myself, I think we all know what my opinion is. Then I started writing about how I’d been roped in to help at the club and that was turning into a whinge and I don’t do moaning, so I sent both those drafts to the trash. Let’s face it there’s enough doom and gloom in the world without me adding to it by moaning.

Read more

Rugby Mum
BeRugby Blog

The life of a rugby mum. Episode 6.

So, the 2017/18 season is well and truly underway!  It feels so good to be back, although time off was good, I do miss the rugby crowd when we’re not there.

This season is going to be a bit strange for me because I have decided to embark on a new venture, a venture which was inspired by my rugby dude and my amazing sports therapist, Erin Rose, I am going to be training as a Sports Therapist.

Read more