Admirable determination and other fine qualities!

So in previous posts, I’ve spoken about the academic and related achievements of my two eldest children Charlotte & Natasha and my pride in them. Of course, I do have two other children of whom I’m equally proud…starting with my son, Adam.

The 2016/17 Rugby season was a particularly torrid one for the Yatton RFC U13s, winning only one game, drawing one, but losing the rest. I stepped away from coaching which I had been doing since their U7 season in 2009 / 10, as I felt I was adding nothing. As another coach pointed out however, several of the losses were by only 1 or 2 tries. Had we won those, it would have been the best season ever!

In the midst of all the slings and arrows of outrageous (rugby) fortune however, Adam’s attitude never dimmed or wavered. He lives for rugby and playing with his mates. Sure, he was disappointed with results, but only really got upset and shed a tear when some of his mates started talking of quitting and thus he feared the break up of his team, most of whom he’s played with since being 5 or 6 years old. Through it all, his attitude remained 110% committed, and his never-say-die attitude won him the admiration of his coaches; Sufficiently so for him to be awarded coaches player of the season. One opposition coach, an old school friend of mine, also singled him out for praise in the face of the beating his side were handing out to Yatton. Adam’s encouragement of his friends, his performance as player and vice-captain, and his award as coaches player of the year made me very proud indeed.

Fast forward to the 2017 cricket season, and once again Adam got involved with the local cricket team (Claverham) for his age group. Most of them, barring three chaps from his school year who he’s known since infant school (two of which he plays rugby with as well), he doesn’t see from one cricket season to the next as they come from neighbouring towns / villages and don’t go to school with him. With the cricket season being short (late April until mid July), there’s often a big gap in renewing that acquaintance. Therefore it made me smile a very great deal to see him, on the very first net practice for the season (especially as he’d missed the pre-season training) laughing and joking around with his teammates. Much like older sister Natasha, his gregarious nature is a credit to him.

The cricket season progressed well, but not without a few hiccups. Much like myself, he loves the game but is aware that he is not the most talented at it. But still, he persists as he loves it and does show promise, including some very economical bowling! However, several of the lads he plays with are very talented indeed and can be a little clique-y. One evening, there was some cat-calling whilst Adam was batting in nets and clearly not doing as well as some of the others. Accompanying bullying / name-calling upset him a great deal and had him on the verge of quitting. There’s also some suggestion he answered back in kind and in so doing, lowered himself to their level. But, credit where it is due, the coach nipped it in the bud and the unpleasantness was soon forgotten. The team remained undefeated in the league season (losing only one cup match), and were champions as the result of good team effort all-round. Adam enjoyed it a great deal, contributed well throughout the season (missing only one match).

And so, as we come through September and look down October’s barrel, the rugby season has started again. Maybe Adam and his teammates will struggle as some walked away after last season, but the core remains. I hope that they’ll all pull together and through like the admirable chaps they are, my son not the least amongst them…and he makes me very proud.