OPINION: Sport should always be fun
THE Ipswich junior league has moved to put more fun back into its ranks by scrapping finals in the Under 11 competition.
I am told the reason behind the move was not so much with the kids themselves, but more about parents and coaches taking things too far when it came to semi-final time.
Having refereed and coached junior league in Canberra I know exactly what they are talking about and I applaud the move to let the kids just go out on the field and have fun, win, lose or draw.
There are many parents and coaches who do the right thing and then there are the few who want to try to relive glory days through the efforts of the kids.
Some don't just carry on about the opposition, they also abuse and ridicule their own children when they don't play at their best.
When I started coaching I was handed a North Canberra Bears Under 11 side that was flat-out catching the ball, let alone running down the field and scoring a try.
The parents came to watch this team every weekend and cheered loudly from the sidelines. At the end of each match the lads would assemble in two lines and clap the opposition off the field and give them three hearty cheers.
I remember one game when the opposition coach told his team not to run through the player tunnel and not to shake hands.
From that day on I started to notice those coaches who should have stayed home playing X-Box rather than spending time with young children just wanting to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately there are still a few of their type around today.