Stanway u3a’s Walking Rugby group has been up and running (or should that be walking?) for just over 2 seasons now.
We have a register of 25 or so players. We have a good mix of backgrounds, a few gnarled old players, most members have never played before, and encouragingly, reflecting the splendid example of rugby’s Red Roses, a good contingent of enthusiastic ladies.
We play using the basis of the Warner Walking Rugby rules, however, through experience we have adapted the rules to make the experience as similar to that of touch rugby as we can.
The rules were kept to a minimum, this helps with assimilating non-players who experience shows us quickly adapt and learn the basics and can fully participate very quickly.
This means a premium on handling skills, movement and passing and the avoidance of anything but the “touch” tackle to promote a safe playing experience.
The sessions are greatly helped by the availability of an experienced referee to ensure benefit from all the exuberance without losing sight of the rules.
Our pitch size is an adapted shape, approximately half a pitch wide but somewhat shorter in length. We have found this helps the game flow. We normally play in teams of 6 or 7 a-side. Sessions are run in 4 quarters of 7 minutes each……trust me, it often feels much more!!
We play fortnightly on a grass pitch at the home of Colchester Rugby Club, who have shown good interest in our group and we are currently looking to formally affiliate with the rugby club in 2021.
We are expecting to move with Colchester Rugby Club to their new playing grounds in 2021, amongst even better facilities we can look forward to playing on a brand new 4G pitch which will really help develop our games.
Quite beyond the rugby game and rules our experience is this is a group that meets, exercises in fresh air, and whilst doing so the emphasis is on fun, there is plenty of banter and having a laugh but both teams love to bask in victory at the end of the sessions!
Fresh air, a rugby ball, plenty of noisy banter, what is not to like?