Bullrush back at Christchurch school

'It is about resilience and having fun'

CHARLEY MANN
Last updated 15:33 14/06/2013
Daniel Tobin

Cobham Intermediate has reintroduced the old kiwi favorite Bullrush

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Cobham Intermediate School is unwrapping the cotton wool and reinstating bullrush.

Today was the first airing of the once-popular playground game, and more than 20 pupils, boys and girls, skidded their way through the mud at lunchtime.

Principal Scott Thelning said it was time children started having more fun in the playground, as they did on the weekends playing sports and with their friends.

Most New Zealand schools banned bullrush in the 1980s amid fears they would be held liable if a pupil was injured.

Recently, rough and tumble has been making a comeback in schools across the country as teacher and parents recognise the importance of children learning to manage risks.

''They have to experience life and give things a go,'' Thelning said.

''How can they learn to be resilient if they are not allowed to do anything?''

Thelning said pupils were allowed to play with mouthguards, but they were not compulsory.

Teachers had spoken with pupils about appropriate tackling and where they should not be grabbing, given the game is co-ed.

''We've also talked about the fact that this is not about the big kids getting to take out the other kids,'' Thelning said.

''It is about resilience and having fun.''

What is Bullrush? 

Bullrush is a schoolyard game where players have to cross an expanse without being caught by a chaser.

Chasers can tag or tackle players to catch them.

If a player is caught, they become a chaser.

The game lasts until one person, the winner, is left untagged.

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