Written by Callum Walker
The current lockdown is making people do all sorts of inventive things, from creating games in their own living room to taking up hobbies that previously would have been thought too time-consuming. One of those which is taking the sporting world by storm, however, is the adaptation of hairstyles. And, it’s one which is seemingly bringing harmony to both codes of Rugby.
The differences between the two codes have been well-documented in the past. But in such trying times, the animosity has been shelved as both League and Union do their bit in the hope of raising some much-needed funds for charities up and down the country.
Two such stars involved in the 13-a-side code are Castleford Tigers’ Peter Mata’utia and Cheyse Blair who have both gone all out in terms of hairstyle. Whilst Samoan international Mata’utia is now boasting a pink rat-tail, Australian Blair has gone with orange sides and a bald top.
Such hairstyles would normally turn heads, and, they probably still would if the two were walking down the street – with a two-metre distance of course – but the current climate ensures that such acts are lauded rather than mocked.
With the Super League season on hold for the present, it is these kinds of do-it-yourself acts that you can hide from your coaches. Indeed, there is perhaps a no better time to get those hairstyles and colours you wanted as a child.
It’s not just for style though – in a loose sense of the word – as the new brave designs are running in sync with social care charity Community Integrated Care. The #CareWithHair challenge is one which has transcended all sports as well as both codes with Union icon Owen Farrell amongst those donating money to the social care provider for the equivalent price of a haircut.
For Mata’utia, in particular, the subject hits close to home with his mother working as a care home nurse back in Australia. Dyeing his hair pink – which is one of the colours of the Community Integrate Care’s logo – has certainly raised more attention and awareness for the cause.
The charity supports thousands of people with learning disabilities, dementia, autism and mental health concerns and has already spent £2 million on personal protective equipment (PPE) in the weeks since lockdown began. Every penny raised by the #CareWithHair challenge will go towards funding critical assistance for carers and the frontline care service.