Here at Amesbury Rugby Club, on a Sunday morning filled with anticipation and camaraderie, where the damp chill in the air does little to dampen the spirits of eager young rugby enthusiasts and their supportive parents.
As the sun begins to break through the clouds, children excitedly arrive, ready to reunite with friends and embrace the thrill of youth rugby. Amidst the bustling scene, parents engage in lively conversations, creating a vibrant atmosphere as coaches diligently prepare the training equipment. The clubhouse kitchen adds to the sensory delight, with the irresistible aroma of coffee and sizzling bacon butties wafting through the air.
We catch up with Emma holding on to a hot coffee and her son Chester is focused on getting a rugby ball from the bag, to find out more about their involvement.
Interviewer: To start, can you tell us how you & Chester got involved in a rugby club?
Emma: Chester suffers from the genetic condition Cystic Fibrosis which is a respiratory condition. In early 2022, Chester started a new medication called Kaftrio which has turned his life around.
With Chester having always shown an interest in rugby and now needing to be active to stay well, we have always encouraged him to do as much sport and physical activity as possible.
He was well enough to start rugby and as Amesbury was our local club he went along and started rugby training.
Interviewer: How has Chester playing rugby impacted on you?
Emma: The more I watched him play the more fun it looked so it motivated me to contact the Ladies team to attend training and I’ve been training and playing with them ever since.
Chester even comes along with me to games and helps by bringing out the kicking tea and water bottles on to the pitch for the players.
Interviewer: How has being a part of a rugby club been for you & Chester?
Emma: I am a Warrant Officer in the Army and when we moved to Larkhill we didn’t know many people so joining Amesbury was a great way to meet new people for both of us.
I would describe it as a family, everyone looks out for everyone with genuine care.
It’s a club for everyone no matter what your background or abilities.
Interviewer: What's the best thing for you and Chester about being involved, or what's the reward of being part of the rugby club?
Emma: I love that everyone looks out for everyone, and the fact everyone is so welcoming. The fact Chester gets to be active doing something he loves is just brilliant, and it shows him that despite his condition he can still take part and be actively involved.
Interviewer: What would you say to someone else in a similar situation to you about benefits of joining a social sport club?
Emma: Join up now! The surprising thing I found out about a rugby club is that even if you've never picked up a rugby ball, it has something for everyone. The club caters for youngsters who are just starting out, as well as adult men's and women's squads. Additionally, the club provides Walking Rugby for a diverse range of ages and abilities, welcoming players well in to their 70's. Truly, it is an inclusive club and a game for everyone."
I’ve made some amazing friends that I thoroughly enjoy playing with and having never picked up a ball before my only regret is leaving it so late to start playing.
The social side of it also gives me the chance to get out and about with a great bunch of people.
For more information about the rugby club: www.amesburyrugbyclub.com
16 February, 2024