Rugby mum

Rugby mum is back for a new season!

New season, new boots

“Muuuuum…my boots don’t fit!” An inevitable horror as I was trying to rush my 12-year-old to the Club this morning. The first training day of the season, and the official club photo, he had to be at the Club in full playing kit…in time.

As I juggled 18 plastic water bottles, my own leaky cup of coffee, while throwing my wellies in the car – just in case, my pre-teen comes bounding down the stairs. He held his black studded boot out at me, accusingly, as if I had somehow shrunk them.

“I TOLD you I needed new boots,” he exclaimed.

Okay, it’s true, he did ‘sort of’ mention he needed new boots, in the same way he said he needed a set of headphones, and needed a chocolate doughnut. But to me it seemed like he had only just got his size 8.5’s, and his school shoes still fit, so I really didn’t he needed a new pair.

But evidently I was wrong. Wearing one Croc and dramatically tugging the Patrick shoe on the other foot, he looked at me helplessly as it wouldn’t go on. So now what? It was Sunday morning, and the club pic was in 45 minutes. There was absolutely no way I could get another pair right now.

I sent a frantic message on the parent’s WhatAapp group explaining the issue before we sped off.

It was a beautiful morning as we pulled up at the Club. Everyone was there, jostling for a parking space before lining up for a quick breakfast cob.

My boy emerged from the car sheepishly tip-toeing in his too-small boots. He grabbed his bag, grunting as he left me with the 18 plastic water bottles and my now tepid coffee. “Good morning Nima”, said a familiar voice. I turned to see the Club’s former president Mr Edgeley walking towards me. “Heard about the boots,” he chuckled. “Why don’t you go to the Kit Shop to see if you can find a pair?”

Of course! The club shop also homes a huge mound of outgrown kit. Mr Edgeley might be on to something!

Thanking him, we ran to the shop prepared to hunt. The pile was a huge organised mess. There were playing shirts, head guards, scrum caps, shorts, waterproofs…and lots and lots of boots in every brand, in every size! It was a mission rummaging through them all, but eventually, my son found a pair that fit.

Happy as Larry, we paid a very reasonable £3 to the shop, leaving his too-small pair for someone else. Even though the boots were second-hand (and maybe even third-hand), they were worn in and clean. Most importantly, the sense of pride my son had in his new pair of boots was no different to if we had spent £50 on the high street. Looking at him in the ‘new’ second hand boots, I wondered who might have owned them. They were indeed big enough for someone on the First Team. Had they been worn by a Forward or a Back? How many tackles had they encountered? And had they proudly stepped over the Try-line?

I was grateful to the Club for the organised mountain of second hand rugby gear. It was all in good condition, clean, and most definitely pre-loved by a local rugby player. That huge pile means that club members can pick up everything they need for just a few coins, and saves all the good gear going to landfill.

One Club, one family, and sharing the kit only adds to the sense of pride, value and belonging.

Nima Suchak a rugby mum.