WATCHING kids’ sport should be one of the great pleasures in life.
At its best, children’s sport should be all about every child doing their best, supporting their team-mate and respecting their opponent.
And left to their own devices, that’s usually what would happen.
As with most things, though, too often it’s the parents who wreck it for everyone.
All of us would recall an awkward moment standing on the sidelines at a children’s netball or soccer match when the barracking from a parent has just gone too far.
They might have been too zealous in encouraging their own child or, worse, too vocal in criticising an opponent. Or they might have yelled abuse at the 14-year-old match official for making a mistake.
We may even recall a time when we have gone too far ourselves.
It shouldn’t happen, but it does – and so often, in fact, that the state government this week announced a new crackdown on abusive parents on the sideline.
The new rules will give greater power to club officials to “shoosh” rowdy parents, but it should never be up to the administrators.
Parents need to take responsibility for their own actions, and remember that kids’ sport is supposed to be fun.
It may well be a parent’s job to embarrass our kids, but that doesn’t mean embarrassing ourselves in the process.
All the best, Murray