Parents’ sideline aggression - Silence is golden

ANYONE who has not seen an angry parent, or even an angry coach lose all self-control at an under-age match — every sport is culpable — and attack the referee, or maybe their child’s coach who may have substituted their little darling or maybe a child on an opposition team, would be astounded at the level of aggression, vitriol and boorishness occasionally seen on sidelines.

It is not an exaggeration to suggest that some of this thuggery would lead to an intervention by the gardaí in a different setting. It is not an exaggeration to imagine this behaviour ruins what should be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for children.

It is certainly not an exaggeration to say that this hooliganism offers the very worst example and turns what should be a positive educational experience into something at the other end of the spectrum.

This situation is so fraught that this weekend has been designated Silent Sideline weekend, a project intended to restore sanity, respect and, most of all, fun to children’s games. It is an objective well worth supporting.

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