Researcher sizes up state of play in school rugby

Published:
Community Sport and Fitness University & TAFE

Social:   
Dave Robinson

Rugby union’s governing bodies need to tackle a perception the sport is mainly a game for large private schools in metropolitan areas if they want to revive its flagging popularity, according to a USC Sports academic.

Lecturer in Sports Studies at USC’s Fraser Coast campus Dave Robinson was recently invited by Rugby Australia to present his PhD research into coaching and promoting the code in regional areas at a high-level focus group discussion on the state of play for school rugby.

The former coach of Queensland’s Combined Secondary Schools team said it was important that rugby union’s governing bodies paid attention to the game’s grassroots.

The focus group included representatives from The Associated Schools, a body of 14 independent Queensland secondary schools as well as NSW Catholic Colleges, Townsville schools, NSW Country Rugby and Queensland Rugby Union.

A recent Roy Morgan survey found a 63 percent drop in nationwide participation of rugby union since 2001, with the game now ranked as Australia’s 26th most popular sport, behind table tennis and ballroom dancing.

Mr Robinson previously presented his findings at the ‘World in Union’ international rugby conference in New Zealand in June. His research identified several factors impacting on the development and popularity of school rugby union.

“Better promotion and support from Queensland Rugby Union and Rugby Australia at a regional school level is a way of encouraging greater participation,” he said.

Mr Robinson said the research highlighted the need for more effective communication and connection between the code’s governing bodies and regional school coaches, and greater mutual understanding of the difficulties each party faced in promoting the game.

“There have been encouraging signs from Rugby Australia's focus on junior participation, however, this momentum needs to carry on into secondary schools,” he said.

"We have enthusiastic and dedicated coaches in these areas doing great work. Rugby's governing bodies just need to tap into them more effectively."

He recommended expanding the number of rugby events in the regions, improving coach education and development opportunities in regional centres, and providing more accessible pathways for players to higher representative honours.

He said regionally-based players would also benefit from regular coaching clinics by visiting elite representatives and senior coaches from state and national teams.

“The focus group was a wonderful opportunity to discuss needs and initiatives with Rugby Australia’s policy-makers as we seek to align our resources towards a common direction.”

 
University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
‘Doctor Google’ could help curb melanoma 19 February 2018 | Scientists have found a surprising link between internet searches about melanoma and the number of officially confirmed cases.  More information...
O what a week as USC welcomes new students 16 February 2018 | The University of the Sunshine Coast will welcome thousands of new students to its main campus at Sippy Downs when it hosts Orientation Week from 19-22 February. More information...
USC to welcome first students at Caboolture campus 16 February 2018 | The first group of students to enroll at USC’s new Caboolture campus will be treated to some fun and festive orientation days next week. More information...
Vice-Chancellor to present free geography lecture 08 February 2018 | Understanding the strong connections between institutions, people and places will be the topic of a free public lecture on geography by USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill on Tuesday 20 February. More information...
USC Drama students to perform Cosi 08 February 2018 | USC Drama students will perform the celebrated Australian play Cosi from 21-23 February at The Majestic Cinemas and Events Centre in Nambour.  More information...
Athletes shine in USC’s high performance program 18 February 2018 | A special program at the University of the Sunshine Coast that helps elite athletes achieve both their sporting and academic goals at the same time will have its 2018 launch on Monday 19 February. More information...
USC and Council join forces to protect roos 15 February 2018 | USC and Sunshine Coast Council have launched a “Look after our mob” campaign at Sippy Downs in a bid to conserve the local kangaroo populations. More information...
Nurse enrols at USC to expand career prospects 15 February 2018 | When enrolled nurse Sarah Grigg performed CPR a patient in 2009, it was a life-changing moment that set her on a path to upgrade her qualifications.  More information...
Warm support from USC for first Winter Olympian 15 February 2018 | USC will be cheering on its first Winter Olympian tomorrow (Friday 16 February) when PhD student Klaus Jungbluth competes in the 15km cross-country skiing event at Pyeongchang. More information...
Social toll of parenting at heart of loneliness study 14 February 2018 | Parents’ social lives can take a hit after having children and USC researchers are studying how this can lead to an overall feeling of loneliness. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service