Parents keen for a code of conduct
Australian parents have indicated that junior sporting clubs could be playing a bigger role in promoting healthy lifestyles to juniors.
The recent survey asked 300 parents of junior sport players in NSW and Victoria about their experiences and expectations of local sporting clubs.
100% of participants agreed that sporting clubs should be encouraging positive parent and spectator behaviour during junior games.
Likewise, nearly all participants agreed that they should be made to sign a code of conduct policy by their child’s sporting club.
These results help to explain why family-friendly local sporting clubs are often more popular in the local community, with higher participation rates and membership numbers.
Having a code of conduct for parents, players and coaches is a great way to ensure everyone is playing from the same game-plan; helping to set clear expectations when it comes to respecting teammates, opposition players, coaches and referees.
The Good Sports Junior program, supported by nib foundation, works with junior grassroots clubs to implement policies and practices that promote a safer and healthier club community.
Local clubs are supported to create the right attitudes around alcohol, tobacco, healthy eating and spectator behaviour.
These small changes can make a big difference to the local community, role-modelling the right behaviours for young players and supporters.
With just 22% of clubs surveyed requiring parents to agree to a code of conduct, having a rulebook for parents and guests is not only a great way to improve your club environment, but will also help your club to stand out as a leader in the local community.
This type of leadership is important, particularly given the recent number of ‘ugly’ incidents at junior sporting grounds. Finals games are especially notorious for unruly behaviour, with one local club making national news after a brawl broke out between parents and officials.
How to get started
Put in place a Code of Conduct for parents and guests to the club.
Parents play an important role at any junior sporting club, so it’s important that they understand the rules when it comes to representing the club.
Having a code of conduct will help to set clear expectations for parents and is also a great opportunity to take the time to consider how your club will respond to different scenarios that might occur.
2. Keep good behaviour front of mind
As our Good Sports community has pointed out, having a policy needs to be about more than just signing a piece of paper.
Use match days, training nights and social media to promote the club’s expectations of parents, and of the consequences of bad behaviour. Remind your club community that sport should be fun, especially at the junior level.
Consider joining Good Sports Junior.
Parents, members and club leaders can express their interest in the program here.