Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Sorry, big boy, but sometimes size does matter

18 comments
Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

I was going to submit a column this week decrying the declining standard of grammar and spelling based on a new English study - and the incorrect choice of the word gaff/gaffe in a headline on my column last week.

But when I sent in the piece, all righteous indignation and thin-lipped pedantry, the editor pointed out I'd misspelled Courtenay Place and Bryan Waddle. Ahem.

Until I'd cleaned up my own linguistic backyard, I decided I had no right to point the finger at others.

Besides, the story of Joshua Moe, the 71kg 10-year-old who has been told he can't play in his own age group at the local rugby club, was an interesting one.

It appears his mum went to the media, complaining that Joshua felt fat and sad when he was excluded from the under-10s and, although he was allowed to play in the under-13 age group, that wasn't good enough for the Moes.

Joshua said the under-13 boys were allowed to trample on one another and push in the scrums and that was scary.

Well, how on earth does he think some scrawny little 35kg 10-year-old is going to feel when he confronts Joshua on the field?

It's not Joshua's fault that he's a big, powerful 10-year-old - he certainly doesn't look fat; just big - and I can understand he wants to play with his mates, but he doesn't have any right to play in the under-10s, as his mother seems to think. (She has complained to the club, the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Human Rights Commission.)

Besides, there are plenty of sporting codes that have weight regulations, such as boxing. And horse racing. I'd never be able to be a jockey, for example, because I'm too fat.

And that's just the way it is. Joshua is now looking at picking up his ball and going home and not playing rugby at all.

He's going to try swimming and perhaps rugby league and the local league club says it will welcome him with open arms.

Apparently, there are no safety issues with children's weight at league clubs.

It's great that Joseph is keen on sport and I'm sure his rugby team would be sorry to see him go, but surely the enjoyment of all boys should be taken into account when it comes to age-grade rugby.

One child shouldn't be able to trample over the rest of the team.

- Herald on Sunday

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