Today is the annual traditional between Rongotai College and St Pat’s Silverstream. While there are matches for basketball, hockey and football; rugby takes centre place for the day.
With the growing glamorisation of school boy rugby, we are seeing much more coverage and exposure for these younger student athletes. Games these days are televised and streamed for anyone to watch, and we are also starting to see the growth of player ranking sites.
Could you call this the commodification of school boy rugby? While these athletes are obviously not paid, they do carry a considerable value for schools who look to leverage the success of their 1st XV teams into increased exposure, marketing and roll growth. When a school is successful on the sporting field, the public perception will often be that they are a good school to go to, without even considering academic success.
Not long ago, the Herald released a series looking into rugby and its place in our national psyche – The Book of Rugby. Part two of the series, explores the rise of 1st XV rugby. The article goes into depth about a range of issues, challenges and also some of the culture surrounding school boy rugby.
All of these issues and concepts link well to the My Study Series video on critical themes at level 1 & 2 where we touch on the concept of commodification.