Walking Rugby was introduced to Marlborough Rugby for the first time this summer and has received great support. Former senior player Simon Barter (from a few years ago) took on the challenge of establishing this sort of rugby at the club.
Walking Rugby, for those who are unfamiliar, is one of England Rugby’s non-contact variants of the game. No tackling takes place; instead, a touch on the armpit or below is used. The game is played on a half-pitch, with players required to always walk. Men and women of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Injured players, ex-players, and complete newbies can all play. This version of the game is a leveller; players do not need to be match-fit, but they must be mobile.
A team consists of between 3 and 7 players on the pitch at any one time, with rolling substitutes and players who must walk. The game can be played inside or outside; the only difference is the type of ball used (leather for outside, foam indoors). A match consists of four quarters, and the aim is for one team to score more tries than the other, which is where the ball is carried over the try line rather than putting the ball down on the ground.
The Marlborough side is going from strength to strength; currently, training is on Wednesday evenings between 7pm and 8pm on Marlborough College’s Astro, but the guys can’t wait until they can get back out on The Common again.
Marlborough has been involved in two tournaments against Melksham and Trowbridge so far. The improvement between the two meetings by Marlborough has been outstanding. There will be further tournaments in the New Year, which the guys are very much looking forward to.
Some medical professionals are recommending the benefits of playing Walking Rugby to their patients. It is not only for the physical benefits but also because being outside in the fresh air, with others, and having a laugh is also very good for people’s mental wellbeing. And of course, there is the social aspect. It does not matter what type of rugby you play; there is always a social scene that is equally important. Rugby is very much a family sport, and the Marlborough Rugby family is increasing, and we want it to grow even more.
If you would like to give Walking Rugby a go, please email [email protected] for more information. The team would very much like to see some more ladies become involved.