By Jackson Whiteker
As a child, now junior Colin Kane suffered many injuries. He had two concussions, got hit with a golf club, broke his arm twice and has had a few staples in his head. After all of these injuries, many people would not even consider playing a violent sport like rugby where many more injuries are likely to happen. Cane, on the other hand, believes that these injuries have made him a better rugby player.
“Getting rocked around as a kid made it easier because I have less fear of getting injured, and the less fear you have for getting injured usually means the less likely you are to get injured,” Kane said.
According to the South Wales Osteopathic Society, as many as one in four rugby players get injured during the season. Also, most injuries are experienced by youth ages 10 to 18.
Scott Cash, doctor and manager of rehab services at Clarian North, thinks that out of the injuries that Kane got, the concussions are the most serious. “Swelling in the brain can lead to more disability later in life,” Cash said.
Kane admits that rugby is a rough sport, but he said that his previous injuries made him a better rugby player. “If it happened to me before, then I’m not as scared of it happening to me again,” Kane said, “I know what to expect the second time,”
Carmel rugby coach Baird Blake also thinks that previous injuries could help a rugby player. “It helps to be aggressive on the field. If it helped his aggressiveness, then yeah, that’s great. If someone is thinking about getting hurt, it will probably affect their play,” Blake said.
Cash believes otherwise. “It depends on the athlete, but there’s no real evidence that suggests that injuries can improve someone’s ability in sports,” Cash said.
Kane still has a love for rugby that makes him play even after many injuries. “I like that everyone on the field can play offense and defense,” Kane said, “One moment you can be running with the ball and a couple seconds later someone else has the ball and you have to tackle them. This keeps the game fast.”
Blake has similar views on why players play rugby. He says that most of them play because it’s a hard-hitting athletic sport that they just love.
“A few other players probably just play for scholarships, or for their transcript, or even because of pressure from their parents. You can’t really avoid that. Although, I think that most of them play because they really like the sport,” Blake said.
Kane even seems like the perfect person for his position of wing and fullback, which are usually smaller, faster people. Although, Kane is good for his position for more reasons than his build. “I get tackled a lot. I do some tackles, but I’m usually the one getting tackled. I kind of like it though because it’s sometimes tough to tackle some of the huge guys,” Kane said.
Kane said that he thinks that his injuries could have made him less likely to get injured again.
“The fact that I’ve been to the ER six different times makes me not afraid of that kind of stuff happening to me because it has all happened before,” Kane said.
Cash believe sports injuries should still be prevented. “There is no way to prevent injuries 100 percent,” Cash said, “You can help prevent future injuries by eating correct types of foods, stretching, warming up, wearing protective equipment,” Cash said.
According to Blake, Kane’s injuries have never been an issue. “I would have never guessed that he had head injuries. He’s a great player that almost never falters,” Blake said.
From Kane’s perspective, the injuries have only helped. “The injuries made me tougher, which helps me in rugby,” Kane said, “I can see why someone would think that they don’t, but I still think that they did.”