Gause Elementary students were introduced to the game of rugby by representatives of Rugby Oregon and the Lacamas Knights youth rugby program during P.E. classes recently.
Stew Magorian, a 15-year rugby professional who got his start in his home country of Scotland and also played for teams around the world, and Martin Stephenson, Gause parent and rugby referee, led the students in a series of skill drills.
“The rugby they are coaching in their program is focused on skills and finesse of the sport rather than the full contact you are accustomed to seeing,” said Mark Bauer, P.E. teacher. “For me it is all about introducing kids to as many fun, physical activities as I can to help keep them moving.”
According to Bauer, rugby provides players with several of the components of physical fitness he is teaching such as cardiorespiratory endurance, snf muscular strength and muscular endurance.
“These visits to schools are all about creating interest in rugby for these kids,” noted Magorian.
Stephenson added that a long-term goal is developing player interest in the sport.
“This is the grass roots level for our community,” he said. “We want to teach kids rugby in a safe environment. We want parents to believe their kids are involved in a worthwhile sport.”