Open primary school football course provoked controversy
China to Open Rugby Courses in Elementary Schools Ma Xiaofeng, a mother of a schoolboy in Nanjing, says she will allow her son to play rugby, even though she does not know much about the game.
Thirty primary schools in Nanjing, capital city of east China's Jiangsu Province, cheap oakley sunglasses will start offering students a chance to learn rugby in September.
Some parents have expressed concern that the game is too rough for children.
Others, however, welcome the move.
China to Open Rugby Courses in Elementary Schools
Ma Xiaofeng, a mother of a schoolboy in Nanjing, says she will allow her son to play rugby, even though she does not know much about the game.
"I personally think it is a good idea to play rugby at school, especially for boys. It would be good for them to have games like this. Children's physical condition is too bad nowadays, and their parents are over protective, so boys are not tough or strong enough in character. "
Chinese schools will teach "touch rugby" in which players do not have full physical contact.
Dave Archer from England who is a rugby coach in Beijing says the teamwork and strategy of the game will help improve children's mental and physical health.
"You can introduce rugby at an early age. oakley sunglasses cheap You can take the contact out of it and make it either a tag game or a touch game, and that basically looks at the skills of running, passing, catching and general teamwork. This is good for any rugby team."
Archer says rugby in the UK, where the game originated, is usually introduced to students when they are young.
"In England, contact rugby is introduced generally at the age 11. A lot of parents appreciate it because it teaches some really good morals. There are some injuries in rugby, but there are just probably as many injuries as there are in other sports. It's just the contact that sometimes some parents don't really like. "
China's national rugby team coach Zheng Hongjun says there is a growing interest among the Chinese to learn about the game, but rugby exposure to the general public is far from enough.
"The low recognition is mainly due to a lack of media publicity. In New Zealand, 90 percent of sports broadcasting on TV is rugby, whereas in China, we have a lot of coverage of basketball, oakley Sunglasses discount table tennis and tennis. Another reason is people don't understand rugby game rules and skills, and no one teaches them how to watch and appreciate the game."
Rugby, which was last played at the Olympics in the 1920s, will return to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in four years. Perhaps this will give the sport an opportunity to raise its profile in China.