the rugby jungle
"Wildlife is decreasing in the
jungles, but it is increasing in the towns"
- Mahatma Gandhi
The quote of Gandhi may be considered
as an apt reflection of the society we live in. This
society consists of many threads that finally make the
fabric. One thread is sport. Sport consists of many
of the yarns that make the thread .One is Rugby. Rugby
is a game supposed to be played by gentleman who value
it as a sport and accept the basic principles of building
team work, understanding cooperation and respect for
fellow athletes .
|This schools rugby season has
cascaded into a very volatile one. ( Pic by Gemunu
However when we measure such expectation
against the actual situation one may be inclined to
agree with the great Mahatma.
We may lack the courage to admit that
it is certainly not happening the way we think and want
it to be and we may not be in line with the philosophy
in which the game of rugby is played. But to continue
without being alive to what is happening around us is
a sure path to suicide.
The cradle of the rugby is the schools
section. It is here that the basic of the skills are
learnt and the sense of fair play and the value of sport
are drilled into the minds of the young. Yet what we
hear of is not so pleasant. Schools are accused of having
violated circular instructions on eligibility. The truth
and or the rationality of the instructions are not an
issue of debate. The issue is whether a question should
have arisen in a game played both to the letter and
within the spirit of the laws of the game. Or is it
that our expectations are misplaced as more animals
are seen as against the numbers of gentleman.
It is indeed sad that these questions
should even arise just like other questions that arise
when the laws are applied.
A major reason of misbehavior I see
is the result of expectation that is weighed against
the money that is spent on the sport. It is well and
good to have expectation. The issue is: should it be
at any cost? Should we be trying to achieve the right
thing the right way or try to achieve it any way? The
end should be to build a man out of child who can learn
from sport the meaning of achieving what has to be achieved
in an honest and dignified manner.
A closer look at those accused at
violating such norms include those who have at one time
or another pointed fingers at others. It also includes
those who have thought resorting to use of the animal
behavior is the way to get the better of others.Despite
the muck in their system they seem not to have learnt
and continue to point fingers of accusation at others,
It is sometimes a wonder why there is always lament
of people not joining the referees society. At any ground
you see a number of capable referees in the pavilion.
Perversion you would think is their pastime when you
listen to comments made.
It is stated that many a spectator
is knowledgeable in the laws of the game and is well
apt in its nuances. I wonder where people gain such
knowledge and training.
The referee’s society printed
the laws of the game 2005 and made it available at a
nominal price. Other than for the referees who have
purchased same there have been sales of only 3 books
so far. Am I to believe that all these so call experts
get their copies of the laws of the game from the International
Rugby Board (I know of a few who have) or they browse
and study the laws available on the net. This being
a little difficult to accept the conclusion is that
they learn from what they hear from others and may not
be the same as the law book states. Any fundamental
exercise on communication will show that message when
conveyed from one to another is always distorted as
received by and moves to another. It is therefore such
make believe situations that are far from the actual
message that leads to behavior more close to the jungles
being seen on the fields of rugby.
Hard on the heels of such unacceptable
practices comes the news of an inter-company tournament
played among the employees of a group of companies being
abandoned due to the violent behavior of players and
spectators who for all intents must be employees.
The behavior in this situation is
a bad reflection on a group defined by the spirit of
its people that believes in providing more than a work
place comprising a passionate group of individuals.
It is therefore part of the corporate social responsibility
which they are proud of, to take proper action to rehabilitate
such individuals by sending them for appropriate counselling.
One of them responsible needs counselling as he has
a history of aggressive behavior while yet another who
was a spectator had no business to be in the fracas.
This should be coupled with an internal search to review
the performance of some of those involved who may have
let the spirit down by playing those who are not employed
in the group. This then will be a meaningful contribution
to the environment.
It does seem that the jungle has come
to the city and rugby needs to use the necessary protectors
to ensure the spirit of the game so valued continues.