Club tames its ugly parents
A FOCUS on stamping out ugly sideline parents has earned the Fremantle Netball Association the inaugural True Sport award.
Last season, the association held near weekly tribunals to deal with ranting supporters who aimed abusive sprays at umpires and players, the majority of whom were children.
But after adopting the WA government’s True Sport program, which targets the win-at-all costs mentality prevalent in Australian sports, FBA promotions officer Karen Wheatland said the number of disciplinary hearings had plummeted this year.
She said the association had decided to take action after a difficult 2017 season.
“It tends to be the dads a bit more than the mums making comments about decisions the umpires make, or getting angry that their daughter isn’t on the court,” Ms Wheatland said.
“There were also occasions where parents were being very negative or shouting at children on the court — both their own and other people’s kids.”
An education drive based on the eight True Sport values, which include “show respect”, “play fair”, “have fun” and “include all” has dramatically reduced ugly incidents.
The association also reinforces positive behaviour by handing out prizes to players, officials or parents that display the True Sport values.
“We have a very inclusive community and also run an all-abilities netball competition,” Ms Wheatland said.
FBA accepted the gong at the Sport and Recreation Industry Awards held at Optus Stadium on Wednesday.
Sports: Charli Langshaw, 6, and Natalia McDonald, 8, with parents Karen Wheatland, Alex Langshaw, Sara Szydlowski and Dee Boni. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper