Why I am Passionate about Rugby by Lockie Peters
My name is Lockie Peters and I am a year 11 student. My pursuit and love of rugby started at the age of 6 in Australia. There I played with my school friends for fun and had a run around. My real interest in rugby started when I lived in France where I started to play in bigger tournaments with more people. I have been playing rugby for 10 years and am passionate about the game. I currently train 4 times per week specifically for rugby including two sessions a week with the U16 National Squad in preparation for the upcoming 7’s tournaments. But I put in at least an extra couple of fitness sessions a week on my own to support the strength and conditioning requirements of the sport.
As such I have found that it requires considerable discipline and time management to both have the self-motivation to push myself physically to compete and also maintain a comprehensive study program to stay on top of my preparation for IGCSE’s this year. I have to work SMART and effectively.
I had the opportunity in October to attend a 10-day elite rugby program at IRANZ (International Rugby Academy New Zealand). Here not only was I put through a full-time training/nutrition and recovery program but also received invaluable classroom instruction into the psychology of maximizing your performance on and off the pitch. These were all great life skills that I apply to my everyday life and studies.
As well as teaching me how to balance my studies and sport, rugby has also provided me with much needed respite and break from study. I genuinely believe the physical outlet helps with managing stress and pressure from studies. It provides a network of friends with whom I have a shared interest. The training keeps me fit physically which I believe all helps me perform better at school as I have high energy levels and I recognise also the release of tension and pure pleasure I feel when playing is great for my mental health too.
While playing rugby, there have been many influences that have encouraged and aided in my development as a player. Rugby is a team sport and so you are constantly working together with others. Such is the nature of the sport that actually there are numerous occasions that you put your trust in your team mates to also help ensure your safety - being lifted in a line out, supported in a ruck, or your combined strength in a scrum. Constantly you combine to create opportunities and back each other up. Support play is a key part of the game. Thus, trust in one another and a shared commitment to the same end result is a huge part of the team aspect of rugby. Equally I have found captaining my side for the last 4 or 5 years requires leadership and motivational skills particularly when you are asking your team to dig deep when exhausted and play is against them. Respect is a big part of rugby, respect on the pitch for the referee as well as your opponents. Again in my role as captain I often have to converse with the referee on behalf of the team as relates to play and have to make sure that I conduct myself respectfully in the best interests of my team, often requiring composure when emotions run high. The definition of team is not limited to my co-players but also includes coaches and managers who have encouraged me to continue in my pursuit of improving and all those that support the game on and off the pitch.
At IRANZ I had the huge privilege of one on one position specific training with DJ Forbes, (reputedly the best All Blacks 7’s player of all time). The experience of learning from such an inspirational coach further fed my desire to learn as much as I can about the sport and the skills required to excel.
In the immediate future, I wish to continue playing in Hong Kong with club and the national age grade team and hope next year to be a part of the U19 squad. My goal is to work towards competing in the next few years at the Asian U20 Championships and then hopefully the U20 World Championships. I would like to continue to play at a high level within Hong Kong as well as at university and beyond. But I know that to do so will take enormous commitment and I want to make sure that I continue to balance this with my studies to ensure I have career optionality in my future.