Tuesday 23 January 2018

I tore the ligament connecting my fingers to the bone, but it hasn't put me off

Charles Kenny - Student and Rugby Player

Charles Kenny on his way to hospital after getting a stud in the head
Charles Kenny on his way to hospital after getting a stud in the head
Charles Kenny's injured finger
Pictured is Sharon Kenny, with her sons (from left) Charlie, Luke and Sam.
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

Business student Charles Kenny admits that tearing a tendon in his hand while playing rugby is the most painful thing that's ever happened to him.

Ahead of the 2015 Six Nations Championship, however, the 18-year-old says it's only made him even more determined to fulfil his dream of lining out for the Leinster Under-20 squad.

"I was on the Leinster Under-19 summer squad last year," says Charles, who's in his first year at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. "Then I tore the ligament connecting my fingers to the bone, and the doctors had to open my hand up - so I was out for five months.

"But it hasn't put me off. In a weird way, watching my team play [while injured] only made me work harder to get back on the pitch."

As mum to three rugby-mad sons, namely Charles and his younger brothers Sam (16) and Luke (12), who play for St Gerard's School in Bray, professional matchmaker Sharon Kenny jokes there are some matches she wishes she hadn't made.

"The boys have been playing rugby since they were about seven. If you saw some of the injuries they've had, you'd wonder why they keep going back," she says.

"Last year, Sam got a stud in the head, and had to get four staples in his hairline. He's also dislocated his shoulder playing rugby.

"As a mam, you have to stop yourself from running onto the middle of the pitch when one of your sons gets injured," adds Sharon of TheMatchmaker.ie. "And I know plenty of parents who won't allow their children play rugby.

"Admittedly, I might feel differently if I had a daughter. But I would never stop any of my children from doing something they love.

"It's all about getting the proper training - the sooner they start, the better. Most of the time, you're not worried about your own kids; you're worried about someone else's kids causing your kids damage."

Despite suffering a concussion as recently as last Sunday, Stradbrook Under-20's back row Charles urges mums everywhere to stop stressing on the sidelines: "Before my hand injury, I was bragging to all my friends, 'I've never been injured', so I must have jinxed myself!

"It's not as dramatic as it sounds though. You get injured in any sport. With rugby, it's just part of the game."

"When I was younger, I just played for the fun," he continues. "Now I train twice a week, and am in the gym twice a week to build muscle too. It's probably a bit far-fetched to think I'll go professional, but I've definitely started to take it more seriously."

Even mum Sharon has to concede: "Playing rugby has made the boys stronger inside and out. It builds confidence and keeps them out of trouble.

"Some mums of teenage boys might be worried about finding dodgy stuff on their computers," she laughs. "With our three, the internet search history is just rugby, rugby, rugby!"

Indo Review

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life