Rugby dates back to 1823 and is a sport known for being highly physical but it also comes with an abundance of health and mental health benefits.

It was wonderful to speak with Dave Alger, who runs Kids rugby and Touch rugby for adults in Lagoa. Dave is an advocate for rugby and the many benefits of getting children involved in the sport. “We are really trying to develop rugby here in the Algarve and we would really like more kids and adults to try out.”

Dave shared that the Clube de Rugby UAlgarve (CRUAL) was started by a colleague of his called Ricardo Rafael and that it has developed into rugby for kids in Faro and Lagoa, with the addition of touch rugby. Dave told The Portugal News, “I played rugby from the age of 17 until I was 20 and then I started playing again when I was 33 and I ended up stopping at 38”, where he humorously added that it started hurting too much.

Dave explained “About five years ago, I saw an advert in The Portugal News about Touch rugby in Lagoa so I decided to give it ago, I was 64 at the time and it was difficult to start with as I was desperately unfit but after some time, I lost 10 kilos and got into it.”

Adding, “I went on a kid’s coaching course here in Portugal so I am an accredited kids’ rugby teacher in Portugal for under 14s. I am also a qualified referee for touch rugby which is a course I really enjoyed doing. I started a touch rugby for kids training course in Lagos, which stopped due to the pandemic but following restrictions being lifted we started training again in Lagoa, it has been going well and numbers have risen so we now have about 10 kids who train twice a week.”

Dave praised the Câmara of Lagoa, saying “Thanks to the generosity of the Câmara of Lagoa, we are now training and playing on the all-new weather pitch at Espamol school, we have a proper football sized pitch that we can cut in half and we can train adults in one area and kids in another.”

Training sessions

Kids Lagoa Rugby is for ages from 5 to 14 and is inclusive to both genders and all nationalities. “We play mixed but if there are enough girls, they play against each other and I even think there is a girls rugby team in Faro.”

Dave also told The Portugal News that “The most significant thing that we want to try and do is that the kids enjoy themselves and they don’t dread it and they want to be here, their parents aren’t forcing them. I want the kids to be enthusiastic about playing!”

Faro train two nights a week at Horta da Areia pitch in Faro on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm, that is for kids’ rugby there. Here in Lagoa, we train twice a week at the Espamol pitch, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15pm and on Tuesday nights we finish about 8pm and on Thursdays we finish at 7:45pm because after that we have adults who come to play touch rugby until about 9pm.”

Additionally, CRUAL Lagoa are running some Summer School Rugby Training sessions at espamol school in Lagoa.

Benefits of Rugby for Kids

Dave told The Portugal News, “Rugby promotes respect, discipline, personal development and team ethics, which are skills that kids need to get through life.” Dave also explained that “We don’t tend to get hurt; it is a physical contact game but we don’t get any major injuries and there is a level of respect that we try to instil into the kids that they don’t get in football as we don’t put up with arguing with them.” Adding, “When I referee, the rules I try to tell people that rule one is that the referee is always right and in the unlikely event that referee is wrong, see rule one.”

“Rugby is the universal language so we have kids of all nationalities and we do have enough kids that also translate in sessions if needed which adds to the social aspect of it all. What has been really nice to see is the personal development side of it all, some of the kids who have developed over the last couple of years, it builds up their confidence.”

“We try and develop the skills for the game and as part of what we do, our club here joins with the one in Faro and we do competitions and tournaments together and sometimes we go to Lisbon for the day as it is all about developing rugby in their minds. We find that very interesting for them and it is a couple of hours travel for them but it is worth it.”

For more information about CRUAL Lagoa Kids Rugby, please contact Dave Alger through, (Phone contact 962 315 256 (EN) or 965 519 309) and for adult Touch Rugby in Lagoa, contact If you would like more information regarding the Faro training sessions, please email or call 965 519 309. For further details, please visit


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes