NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation, Graham Annesley, is urging the entire sporting community including participants, officials, and spectators, to be constantly vigilant against ugly behaviour in sport from grass roots through to the elite level. Sport is a very important part of the Australian way of life but unfortunately from time to time enthusiasm and passion is replaced with anger and frustration which can lead to issues no one wants to see on or off our playing fields, Mr Annesley said. I believe the majority of sporting organisations have codes of conduct in place to ensure their players and officials are well behaved and participate within the rules. The NSW Government has a free education kit and guide available to assist parents and players and officials deal with sport rage, Mr Annesley said. Using practical, real life scenarios and plain English advice, the courses are a convenient way to increase knowledge and skills in complaint handling, child protection, harassment and discrimination. Having clear policies and processes in place helps frontline volunteers such as ground officials and referees effectively deal with anger on the field or sidelines. Minister Annesley said sport rage includes any form of violence, foul language, harassment, abuse or bad behaviour in sport. Sadly the worst offenders can at times be those on the sidelines. Such unruly behaviour reduces everyone s enjoyment, creates an unsafe environment and in some cases leads to children dropping out of sport. Children watch and invariably mimic the behaviour of others, so in many ways behaviour off the field is just as important as it is on the field, Mr Annesley said. Clubs can also access free online training at www.playbytherules.net.au. To order the sport rage kit for clubs, visit www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/sportrage.
Author: Minister for Sport and Recreation