Two Dorset based companies come together to make rugby fitness fun again
Bournemouth born Shuffle Up Games have partnered with Rippa Rugby to create a new rugby skills and fitness game. The game encourages young rugby players to get moving in an exciting way, whilst teaching core principles of strength and conditioning that are often neglected at grassroots level.
Shuffle Up Games was founded by Gemma Coles, a gymnastics coach with over twenty years’ experience in the industry. Following on from the successful launch of the game’s gymnastics edition, the company has since diversified to offer games in football and rugby, with a tennis edition currently in production.
With her vast experience in the industry, Gemma understands the importance of strength and conditioning in sport. The game has been specifically designed to minimise the risk of injury to rugby players by encouraging them to strengthen their core, providing players with increased stability on the pitch.
Gemma commented: “I wanted to challenge the idea that fitness is difficult and boring by injecting the fun back into these exercises. Often young children switch off at the idea of doing traditional strength and conditioning work, so it was important to keep the fun alive with Shuffle Up Games.”
Each card within the rugby game relates to movements performed on a rugby pitch. The game includes 70+ different cards, with each one demonstrating the correct technique of the movement, along with step-by-step guidelines for rep ranges and difficulty levels.
Shuffle Up can be used as a coaching tool for both rugby coaches and PE teachers looking to implement skill development and strength and conditioning work into sessions, or it can be used by families, as well as by players themselves.
Each game is created with the help of sporting experts in their respective fields. The Rugby game was launched with help from Level 2 RFU coach, Stuart Gallacher. Stuart also owns Rippa Rugby, a business dedicated to coaching rugby in schools across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
The Bournemouth Rugby coach added: “As a rugby coach I wanted to find a way to grow the sport from the ground up, as rugby isn’t always as accessible as other sports. We needed to find a way of reaching out to young children, and future players, to introduce them to our game in a fun and exciting way.”
“We have taken standard exercises that most children and adults know how to do, like star jumps and lunges, and made them specific to rugby. We looked at core skills in the sport such as catching, passing, kicking and defending and then added them to the game in a fun and motivating way.”
Rugby is a sport for everyone, and this is reflected in the games accessible design. The product features three varying levels and can be played with or without a rugby ball.
The game can and should be used by anyone and everyone; from experienced coaches looking to mix things up, to teachers and parents who want to increase a child’s physical activity. So, to get moving in fun and exciting ways, put on your kit, grab your crew and shuffle up!
The Rugby Skills and Fitness card game was released on the 6th of September and is available to purchase via Amazon or directly from the Shuffle Up Website.