It flushes me with rage when anyone uses the phrase "it builds character" when defending the heinous crimes that take place within the school system.
In this case is mandatory rugby from age 11. When confronted by common sense, such as doctors calling for a ban on the contact side of rugby, because children end up crippled or mauled for life, the response is "it builds character". Correction. It either builds character or causes life long injuries. Sure you can build team spirit and the will to win with non-contact rugby but apparently you need life long injuries "to build character". Bullshit I say.
It's a meaningless response from those with no alternative answer. It's a stock response from those who can't conceive of change.
Consider this. Mandatory rugby. Mandatory. In what other aspect of life would you put up with mandatory contact sports? If you boss came to you and demanded you play for the company team, you'd tell him to get lost. But no, not at school apparently.
Let's consider how this rugby builds character. The spindly, fat, or small kids get ridiculed and physically pounded. That doesn't sound like "building" it sounds like crippling, both physical and mental). The larger sportier kids learn to beat on the smaller, weaker, and slower. Well, that character, but not one I'd recommend.
End the mandatory, it's evil.
BBC article that "builds character"