So we went ahead and signed up our four and a half year old son for Rugby League.
Not touch footy.


He trains for an hour twice a week and his games are on Saturday mornings. His only other activity is half an hour of swimming.


I always vowed to never over schedule my kids, especially at a young age.
But my four and a half year old son likes footy. He enjoys watching the games, he admires the players in his favourite team and he has good fun on the field.



I had mixed reactions when I shared his news.


Some people were supportive.
Others kept their opinions to themselves and smiled politely.
Two people grimaced, said that it’s fine to do, but they wouldn’t allow their child do it.
And one person shook their head, said that it is wrong, that they would never let their child play footy and that I shouldn’t either.



jake kedzlie

Image source



Some weeks ago this young teen lost his life playing football. He bumped his head on another boy’s knee, as he was getting up from a routine tackle and he did not regain consciousness.


I will always remember young Jake Kedzlie’s story.


This passionate young footballer lost his life, while playing a sport that coursed through his veins.

I think about his mum, Corryn and I wonder if she was ever on the receiving end of free parenting advice.

I hope to God that she wasn’t.



At our club, Under 6’s Junior Rugby League has two trainers, adult supervision and first aid officers. During matches, there is a referee as well as registered officials, who ensure safe, sportsmanlike play. Each team coach is on the field, within a couple of metres of kids at all times, prepared to break up tackles, within moments.


I do everything to ensure my children’s safety.


I lock my doors and check my windows, so they won’t be taken in the night.

I look at my kids before I go to sleep and adjust their covers, to keep them warm.

Sometimes I stand at their door, just to monitor if they are breathing.
I buckle them in, dress them warmly and apply sunscreen.


I’d do anything to ensure my children’s safety.


This includes allowing my son to play Junior Rugby League.
To properly learn the skills required.
So he can play the game he loves.



Rugby or Thugby?
Mother of the year, or MF crazy?


#IBOT with me.


Robo X

About Robomum

I blog after my kids go to sleep. It takes a while. View all posts by Robomum

28 responses to “MOTY?

  • Lydia C Lee

    Wrong person to comment, as I like AFL, so I already stand on a different side of the fence, and I’ll admit I don’t get it. But 2 things – we all grew up playing full contact sport (in the 70’s) so is the risk of injury really that bad? (That’s a question, I don’t know the stats) and is it more likely to have serious injury that when they choose to wrestle in the backyard (or something like that – skateboard?)? I’ve come outside to deal with many tears only because they’ve been playing ‘wrestling’ – yet when I tell them to stop because someone will get hurt, they will argue that it’s fun…
    I do think at games from about 10 on, they need an ambulance at the ground, as the boys get physically big and heavy and can do more accidental damage – I also listen with interest to the arguments about weight being taken into account in age groups for league games… there’s a can of worms at every corner with kids sport these days….

    • robomum

      Can of worms indeed. Ambos at the field might be a good option, although I imagine very costly, Weight is an issue. We have some big boys in our club who tower over the younger ones. Backyard wrestling can get pretty intense.Climbing trees,playing down at the creek – everything has an element of danger. Thanks for reading.

  • Jenni @ Mothers Are Leaders

    No opinion from here on the rugby issue 🙂 but want to encourage you as a Mum! We are told that a leader shouldn’t second guess herself, but that advice was written for business leaders not emotionally connected mother-leaders. For us the truth lies somewhere about where you are at: its ok (even wise) to listen to input from others but then we need to make a decision based on our own child. Mothering is definitely the toughest leadership gig of all!

    And btw – I choose MOTY for you! 🙂

    • robomum

      Thank you! Nothing like some support from inside the computer!
      I always listen to advice, but I usually make my own decisions.
      Thanks so much!

  • Rachel

    My three play rugby union at a fantastic club which does all the things that your league club does to ensure a safe and fun match for all concerned. They absolutely 100% lovee it and I would be robbing them of a precious childhood experience if I were to take it away from them.

    They wear head gear and mouthguards for protection and have excellent coaches who I trust to teach them skills and model good sportsmanship. I am satisfied that I have taken all the precautions opssible to ensure their safety. Everything in life has an element of risk and we can’t wrap them in cotton wool.

    Follow your own internal compass Robo Mum 🙂

  • Cooker and a Looker

    I’ve been spared this choice RoboMum – my husband has pink sperm! It would have been a difficult decision for me to make though, because Bearhands comes from a long line of very talented footballers. Two of his Uncles played for the Kangaroos.
    I have had pause to think about it over my pregnancies, and I decided that as long as they wore headgear and were taught by coaches who knew what they were doing, I would allow my (non-existent) sons to play footy.
    After all, I grew up riding a horse. What’s more dangerous than that?

  • EssentiallyJess

    Well I just signed my four year old up for Auskick for the second year in a row, so I’ll join you in the ranks of mother of the year ok? 🙂

  • aparentinglife

    I am with you. If I had a boy I can pretty much he would want to play rugby as soon as he could as well. And you know what why can’t they be taught how to play safely? Surely the earlier they start learning that the safer the game will eventually be

  • Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right

    And lots of people don’t die playing football. There are always risks, but I believe they have gotten a lot better about safety in sport with helmets etc. So, that’s the rational me speaking. The mum in me is grateful I am unlikely to ever have to watch my kids play football, as I have all girls.

  • Have a laugh on me

    Oh Robo, I’m torn. I’m from NZ where boys play union and that’s it. I’m not sure of the rules but even if I let my boys play union I’d make them wear head gear! I know it sounds silly but I make my girl wear a helmet as she scooters to school! I reckon as long as you feel happy then you’re sweet. And I’ve written all of this without knowing if they wear head gear… SORRY. xx Em

    • robomum

      Well I don’t know about you but where I’m from, you only get one head. ;o) So you’ve gotta protect it. Mr 4 protests with the head gear but we try.X

  • Lisa@RandomActsOfZen

    As much as I would love to wrap my daughter in cotton wool and keep her safe forever, I know I can’t.
    It’s part of our job to prepare them with as much information and safety conciousness as we can, then push them out into the big, bad world.
    I think as long as you take all the precautions needed, and make sure everyone is following the same safety guidelines, you just have to let them have a go at it all.
    Still a bit scary though, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Clair

    One of the greatest things a parent can do for their child is foster & enable a love of sports/healthy lifestyle. Big thumbs up from me!

  • Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions

    I wrote you a massively long comment yesterday and my stupid iPad wouldn’t let me post it!

    I think there is no more risk in playing league than there is in any other sport or hobby. What happened to poor Jake could have happened to anyone anywhere, whether they were playing sport of not. I think as long as you know you’ve done absolutely everything you can to ensure safety then that’s all you can ever do. Sadly accidents happen, and stopping kids playing sports for fear of them hurting themselves does them more of a disservice, I think, then actually letting them play. I think you’ve done the right thing.

    • robomum

      I hate it when the computers eat the comments!
      I think you are totally right. Sport, team sports in particular give our kids experiences that can’t be taught at home, or in the classroom. That’s what I think anyway. Thanks so much for reading X

  • Katie-Ellen

    Well said! I agree, each to their own! Your child your choice! There are so many factors in life today and no assurances, car accidents happen, sport accidents happen, we can’t let our children stop things just because of the potential to be hurt, it’s life, stuff happens! Good on you for sticking to your guns and not letting others guilt you into their idea of proper parenting!

  • Becky from

    This is so hard, isn’t it. My parents didn’t let my brothers play football at all and I kind of thought I would be the same but, if my son wants to be a footballer I will support him. While having heart attacks as he plays, especially given his lack of co-ordination. But, it’s the same with anything really. I know other mothers tut at me letting my children play at the park without hovering over them. They don’t know how much my giving that little bit of freedom has improved their confidence, gross and fine motor skills, climbing skills and so on. I think you’re doing a great job and he’s going to be taught how to play safely from a young age.

  • robomum

    The park can be a horrible place, depending on which park you go to and how you’re feeling at the time. I never hover over my kids; if they fall, they have a sook and get back up. I only intervene if they aren’t sharing or if someone is about to get hurt. I’m glad you haven’t let your upbringing interfere in your parenting. It’s so important to make your own decisions. Building resilience in kids is a very important life skill. Thanks for reading!

  • Belinda

    My son used to play rugby league and I copped a lot of flack for letting him play. I made my son wear head gear and as a result he was bullied and picked on for an entire season. We told him we are not a family of rednecks and the smart people wear head gear. The whole mentality was ridiculous and the comments that were being made by his little team “mates” clearly were not their own but their dim witted parents. We made him finish the season but he has never played another game since. This is something that I’m happy with, even more so after hearing this tragic story. I still love the game but I’m relieved I no longer have the worry every saturday of my child being injured. Had my son not been picked on that season he may still be playing the game, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.

    • robomum

      Thanks for sharing such an honest story. People can be very cruel and their kids sometimes tend to perpetuate this. I’m sorry that your boy was bullied. That is terrible. Even though our son is the youngest and the smallest, he is supported and made to feel like a valued team member. I love that he plays sport. It’s such an important part of life. I hope he finds his sport calling somewhere else soon. X

  • gry na maszynach

    First of all I would like to say awesome blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before
    writing. I have had a hard time clearing my mind
    in getting my ideas out. I do take pleasure in writing but it
    just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or tips? Appreciate it!

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: