Fire Up part 2 Enough is enough

By John Rahme

In the first article called “Fire Up” I clowned around with some jovial sarcastic remarks about KIDS SPORT. Using light-hearted comments about the language used and the behaviour of people and parents in attendance of kid’s sport. There was nothing light hearted, jovial or fun about what I saw and heard today. I am not going to tip toe around in this piece of writing at all, I am going to lay it out straight and speak my mind.

I attended a Grand final today in a Junior Rugby League competition. I made my way to the game in order to watch a good friends son play in this game of all games. The age group was Under 13’s. For the sake of clarity, I am going to repeat myself. The children participating in this sport and in this momentous occasion are all under the age of 13 years old. Taking part, in the Grand finale, a game which not everyone has an opportunity to ever be involved in. I stood at the opposite side of the field to the two divided crowds. To my left standing across the field was the onlookers and support crowd of the team which the young child was playing against. His support group and onlookers were to my right. The referee was no more than 16 years old.

Disgraceful, disrespectful, disheartening and absolutely disgusted I was, hearing and listening to what I heard come out of both sides support group. There were two men standing to the left of me, screaming red in the face at the referee. Such words and aggression that if I was this young referee’s parent, I would have stopped the game and I would have removed my son from been exposed to such animalic behaviour and language. It didn’t stop there. One of these men made his way down to the right of me following the ball going down the field when a small push and shove occurred in the tackle.

“SMASH HIS FU—EN HEAD IN !!!” was screamed till red in the face was his instructions.

As the game continued, what started off as a good game of skill and tactics generated into a game of thuggery. The players were influenced by the barbaric language of their supporters and had lost sight of the actual game they were playing. It seemed to me that they had become crowd pleasers. Hitting high across the head and spearing the player in the tackle to the ground in a very much dangerous throw. In total there were 5 players sin binned with one of them been sent off.

When is enough, enough? What example are we setting? What environment are we creating for our kids? I fail to understand any scenario or event involving kids where you could ever justify yelling those words out. Have we become so lost in ourselves that we wish to live our lost dreams through our children? If so, does that still justify our language and behaviour?

I work with people from all ages. When a parent asks me to work with his child, I always ask the question, “Am I working with your child because they want this and want to improve or am, I doing this for you?”

The world moves faster today than ever before. Our children are exposed to a lot more in their earlier years today than ever before. If we are not careful as a society, we will be taking away from our children their enjoyment of sport and the purpose it is played for. Children generally want to please their parents by playing well and exceling at sport. They also want to have fun and create memories. Let’s not take this away from the innocent because of our own selfish reasons.