Touch rugby: An inclusive sport for any gender and age

All smiles for members of tough rugby at Hornets' the Nest as they pose for the camera.

All smiles for members of tough rugby at Hornets' the Nest as they pose for the camera. - Credit: Josh Thomas

With the rugby season concluded for the summer, there is still a chance to keep up with the sport through touch rugby.

Free sessions are held for one hour every Saturday morning from 10.30-11.30am at the Nest, home of the Hornets.

And when the sessions end cakes are put on for people to engage with each other and build up communication.

Organised by Ben Milson earlier this year with the aim of creating a 'friendly environment', touch rugby is fully inclusive for anyone, regardless of age, gender or ability.

Touch rugby at the Nest is for anyone of any age between 10:30am and 11:30am every Saturday.

Touch rugby at the Nest is for anyone of any age between 10:30am and 11:30am every Saturday. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Ben Mager says it’s “brilliant” what the South West Premier side has done and, upon hearing about it, was in no doubt he would get involved.

“I absolutely love it,” he said.

“As soon as I found out they were starting to do touch rugby down the Hornets I was so up for joining. 

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“I’ve got cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and epilepsy - it limits me to what sport I can do. I've always wanted to play rugby since I was a little boy but having hydrocephalus and not being able to do much touch contact it was a no-brainer.

“With touch rugby you only literally touch someone and they release the ball. 

“It was a no-brainer to come down and start playing touch because I’m not going to get injured or hurt. Not only that, not just for me, but it’s also good to meet new people and it’s good for everyone to come down and have a laugh. 

“At the end of the day we get a piece of cake and it’s just really enjoyable.”

Ben Mager, Ben Milson and Eve Lauder all shared their thoughts to Weston Mercury.

Ben Mager, Ben Milson and Eve Lauder all shared their thoughts to Weston Mercury. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Eve Lauder first heard of it though the Hornets website and has not looked back.

“I think it’s amazing, as soon as I heard about it I was straight down here,” she said.

“I think it’s good for everyone. It’s mental as well as physical, it’s really good and everyone gets together and has a laugh and there are cakes at the end which is a bonus.

“The more people hear about this, the more people will come down. Especially when you try it once they will see how good fun it is and I guarantee they will come back.”

The success has seen an adults-only group set up for Thursdays at 7pm for the next few weeks before moving to a Wednesday when pre-season starts.

However, Saturdays are still going ahead and Milson says he wants to encourage people to come down and engage with each other.

“There are obviously many benefits to physical health as everyone knows and everyone is aware, but there is a huge push on at the moment in general and the rugby club surrounding mental health,” he added.

“Light exercise is hugely beneficial for mental health as well as physical and it’s the social aspect of it. 

“A lot of people haven’t been down to the club for a long time and are starting to come back again. You have got that social aspect where everyone makes new friends and it’s really good.”