Another Ridiculous Article from Allyson Pollock Criticising the Safety of Rugby!

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It seems that Allyson Pollock is at it once again as she writes another one-sided bias piece on the safety of playing rugby in school.

If you’re not too worried about your blood pressure you can read her stupid comments here. In essence Pollock is arguing that children should be banned from all contact sports without explicit permission from their parents after her ’11 years of extensive research’.

In the article Pollock makes outrages statements such as “As a doctor in clinical practice, I was taught that every injury ought to be avoidable and preventable” – sorry but how do you prevent someone out for a run tripping and grazing their knee or worse? How do you prevent squash/badminton players getting bad knees? How do you prevent bowlers in cricket getting worn knees/shoulders?

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She goes on to claim that there is a one in six chance of a child picking up an injury playing rugby but fails to cover what range these injuries cover. It’s easy enough to claim a bruise here and a cut there as an injury in order to offer up sensationalist statements aimed at making headlines.

Unfortunately giving Pollock this kind of platform on which to air her agenda is damaging to the sport as a number of parents will read these bias statistics and be put off allowing their children to participate. Let’s instead see a full breakdown of her findings rather than one-off stories and sensationalised statistics so we can see the true picture.

There’s no doubt that there is an inherent risk of picking up an injury playing a physical sport such as rugby, but is it more dangers than say football where players regularly pick up injuries to legs, knees and ankles. Maybe instead all children should be encouraged to take up tiddlywinks?

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2 comments

  1. Here we go again.

    From this not only are you at risk of injury from playing rugby but if you are poor, then you are ‘further at risk’ which suggests that being poor is a risk of injury in itself. Confused?

    How to avoid injury? Stay indoors, play safe games without standing, moving more than maybe fingers and thumbs and avoid any physical activity. Oh, wait. Isn’t that what the doctors want us to avoid giving our children as a message?

    I’ve coached for a god while now and have seen a few serious injuries, most occuring because the good practice we encourage was missed in the process of participating in a competitive game. A momentary lapse where the head is on the wrong side or two people clash in an unfortunate manner. The risks are elevated (compared to PS4) but the rewards… Lets see now, team work, fitness, exercise on a regular basis, sportsmanship, understanding how to deal with adversity, how to face down those things that should scare you, and a good few others I’ll not list. No sign of those in the article.

  2. Sorry guys love your site and of course I love rugby even more but I have to disagree with your approach on this topic.

    “Stupid comments”? The woman had her child in hospital FFS. When something like that happens your desire to protect a sport goes out the window and if anything rugby can probably learn from that kind of scrutiny.

    That’s not to say all of her stats & findings are 100% accurate but it’s not to say we need to dismiss them out of hand either.

    Children are getting injured at school level because they’re trying to emulate what they see adult professionals doing week in week out. Plus, while most coaches act responsibly there are also those who don’t err on the side of caution when it comes to player safety and it’s an issue the sport needs to address.

    IMO the best way to stick it to articles like Allyson’s is to show we’re taking the issue of safety seriously rather than simply saying “well don’t play rugby then”.

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