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Thread: Death inevitable' in rugby arms race, warns headmaster

  1. #1
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    Death inevitable' in rugby arms race, warns headmaster

    Death inevitable' in rugby arms race, warns headmaster







    One headmaster believes his boys will get seriously going up against unfairly matched teams / The Courier-Mail Source: The Courier-Mail




    • Headmaster to ban rugby union
    • Schools unfairly bulking up sides
    • Fears death will occur on pitch


    THE headmaster of a top private school is set to ban boys from playing rugby union amid fears they could die in a sporting arms race.

    Peter Chapman, the principal of St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, in Brisbane, said serious injury could result from the excessive size and strength of some schoolboy teams with a win-at-all-costs agenda.
    One of his colleagues made an even more dire prediction.
    "With this process proceeding the way it is now, death is unavoidable. You will have a death on the paddock," said Arthur Palmer, a vice-chairman of Queensland's Great Public Schools association.
    His warning came as The Courier-Mail discovered that some of the country's top private schools were recruiting rugby talent from overseas on "sports scholarships" involving millions of dollars in waived or drastically-reduced school fees.


    Many of the targeted players have been put on heavy weightlifting programs since their mid-teens.
    Grossly unmatched
    The scholarship deals are bankrolled by wealthy old boys, although funds are sometimes also sourced from school revenue.
    "The process at the moment is unchecked," said Mr Chapman, who is chairman of GPS, an association of nine private schools in Queensland.
    "There's no clear regulations or guidelines around what constitutes a fair and safe competition."
    Mr Chapman said he had warned his fellow GPS heads that he would no longer tolerate his school's rugby teams contesting "grossly unmatched" fixtures.
    He said he would consider withdrawing his sides from games on a case-by-case basis.
    "If we were going to come up against a team that is far superior in size and where I think kids might be injured, I'd have to step in and say, `Look, I just don't think it's appropriate that we play on (this) particular occasion'," he said.
    Mr Chapman said Terrace, which finished fifth in last year's First XV premiership, refused to offer sports scholarships or bursaries - which are outlawed among Sydney's leading private schools.
    He said long-term students who had attended his school in "good faith" did not deserve to be displaced from sporting teams in the chase for trophies and marketing kudos.
    "If you're selective, maybe you'll get bigger kids," he said.
    "But I work with the cohort I've got. I'm not selecting kids in the senior school to come in and enhance the result in a sporting competition."


    http://www.news.com.au/national/deat...-1225852508437

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    Veteran laura's Avatar
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    I've read enough journal articles on rugby injuries to poke a stick at and for him to come out and say death is inevtiable is, IMHO, a cop out!

    "With this process proceeding the way it is now, death is unavoidable. You will have a death on the paddock," said Arthur Palmer, a vice-chairman of Queensland's Great Public Schools association.
    That's just ridiculous for starters! Obviously its a high-risk game and injuries happen but with the correct procedures and guidelines and safety precautions and training the risk of death is just as likely as any other contact sport. To me it sounds like he doesn't want to invest the funds into upgrading his schools' rugby program to the standard of other schools.

    His warning came as The Courier-Mail discovered
    Because a newspaper is obviously a credible course of reliable information to base such a decision on...

    While he does have valid points with regards to boys bulking up more, old boys investing more, sponsorship dollars and the increased competitiveness of some schools I hardly think its reason to call it quits on the game. Surely there are other alternatives i.e. entering his school in a lower grade competition or possibly making the regulations and guidelines that he states are lacking....
    "There's no clear regulations or guidelines around what constitutes a fair and safe competition."
    "If we were going to come up against a team that is far superior in size and where I think kids might be injured, I'd have to step in and say, `Look, I just don't think it's appropriate that we play on (this) particular occasion'," he said.
    So let the players go into the real world inexperienced and underprepared so it saves on insurance money? I can't help but think this all has something to do with a recent story on a school boy in Queensland who was injured during a league game and now suffers paralysis in one arm. His school didn't have sufficient insurance and now he's on a waiting list for an operation that could give him the use of his arm back, but it will cost his family $10,000 and a trip to Sydney.

    Personally I think its the wrong decision for the sport, but as headmaster its his perogative to make that decision for his school. There are plenty of things he could do to make it safer without completely getting rid of it all together.

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    the thing that strikes me is that Gregory Terrace is the same school that offered Digby Ioane a scholarship to bring him up from Melbourne in 2002-2003

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    They have an agenda. Clearly St Josephs can't keep up with what other schools are offering and want to ban the provision of scholarships. They don't want to sound like whingers so they are playing the "we're worried" card.

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    Correct.

    And TOCC, it would NEVEr had been Terrace offering Scholarships...oh Nooooo...

    (It was the Old Boys Association)

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    So presumably kids on scholarships "put on heavy weightlifting programs since their mid-teens" is somehow vastly different from normal school attendees put on heavy weightlifting programs since their mid-teens?

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    We weren't even allowed near the fully decked out weights room until we were 16 "back in the day", sounds like things have chaged a bit...in the last 19 years

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    Sounds like a Monty Python sketch...


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    In the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) there was a front page article about 2 months ago about "The Hills High School (Seven Hills)" who's forward pack was bigger then the Warratahs S14 Pack.

    A second Rower for the high school was weighing in at 142kgs. and he was 17 years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exile View Post
    In the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) there was a front page article about 2 months ago about "The Hills High School (Seven Hills)" who's forward pack was bigger then the Warratahs S14 Pack.

    A second Rower for the high school was weighing in at 142kgs. and he was 17 years old.
    I played against a kid like that back in the UK, although he wasn't a second-rower, just enormously fat. He had weak knees which we targetted - thinking back we probably crippled the poor kid for life!

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    Well Done Laura on your very valid comments...a very good comeback on a ridiculous argument to stop Union in the school....I have girls, but my hubby played rugby in UK and he was astounded at the Headmasters' comments, as you candidly pointed out, he has to have another agenda...Cheers..

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