Prior to each game played this weekend players and officials from the Young Junior Rugby League club will “Shoosh” the sideline to remind spectators to keep their comments positive and to let the children play.
The Young Rugby league club and the NSW Government of Sport for children's sport have partnered in the initiative to encouraging positive sideline behaviour during junior sporting matches.
If inappropriate behaviour is being displayed during games the official will stop the game and all players and officials will turn to the nearest sideline and ‘shoosh' the offending person or people.
Young Rugby League club’s Sharon Corcoran said the general rule is, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
“The purpose of the campaign is to support grass root sport to provide a positive environment for their members, whilst assisting in addressing issues which arise from poor sideline behaviour including, abuse to officials, reduced volunteer numbers and reduced participation rates due to poor experiences,” she said.
“The aim of the initiative is to keep kids playing sport.”
Young Junior Rugby League club President Ben Mott said promoting Shoosh for Kids Week at the club means there is a consistent message for grassroots sport.
“We want junior games to be a positive, happy place for kids to enjoy themselves while being active,” he said.
Office of Sport Chief Executive Matt Miller said sport is such an important part of parents and children’s lives due to its many recognised health and social benefits.
“We want to ensure that all players, officials and spectators, have a positive experience when they are participating in sporting activities,” he said.
“Most people do the right thing. However, the sports we are working with want to remind spectators that there is no place for negative comments in local sport.
“So we are saying to spectators if your comment is negative if your comment is directed at a player if you comment is directed at a referee or match official, then SHOOSH!”
Miller said spectators should reward good play by both teams with applause.
“The campaign is basically promoting that spectators should show respect to players and game officials,” he said.
“Remember it’s their game. We want to ensure that all players, officials and spectators, have a great experience when out on the field or court.
“It is great to see so many clubs and associations supporting the campaign.
Promotional material for sports clubs and associations across NSW is available online from the Office of Sport website: sport.nsw.gov.au/shooshforkids