Sport Waikato has recently started a new campaign to encourage positivity on the side-lines of sport in the Waikato. The purpose of the campaign is to provide the Waikato region with a generic side-line behaviour initiative that educates the community and equips sports organisations with the information and tools required to ensure positive side-line behaviour.

The initial stage of the campaign, which has been developed in partnership with Waikato Sunrise Rotary Club, has seen a number of positive sideline signs distributed around the region and put up at a number of sporting fixtures, schools and clubs. These signs are also backed up by a radio advertisement campaign that grabs the attention of listeners on their way to their Thursday afternoon practice or their Saturday morning sport.

The main objective of the campaign asks for people to support our kids and be a great sideline cheerleader by enjoying the game, and leading by example.  The campaign sits nicely with Rotary’s commitment to preventing conflict, building world peace and goodwill, encouraging nonviolent resolutions of issues and protecting human rights.

Paul Street, President of Waikato Sunrise Rotary, says while Rotary’s work might be on a global scale, it all starts in our homes, in our families and in our communities.  “If we can encourage parents and other supporters to role model peace and goodwill on the side-lines through the promotion of positive support for the kids playing the game, then as a Rotary club, we are doing our job” says Street.

Sport Waikato’s Community Sport Manager Roseanne Murray understands society’s urgent need to make this sideline behavioural attitude and cultural shift.

“We know that often intense, negative side-line behaviours, adversely impact the desire and joy of young players to play the sport they love. It can have a significant effect on our young players’ performance, and in many cases can negatively impact promising careers before they have a chance to develop” says Murray.
“This campaign is designed to educate not only spectators but also coaches and officials, and encourage positivity.”
“We know that for this campaign to be effective that it requires by-in, input and support from everyone on the team; everyone plays a role in the success of this initiative. So, if you are a spectator, parent, supporter, coach, official, volunteer or even a player – in any aspect of the code – you are part of the team!”

Fairfield College Sports Coordinator, Toni Phillips, whose school is appreciative of having some signs to display, completely agrees.

“They are a fantastic reminder to all sports supporters that everyone’s behaviour contributes to the success of all our sports teams” says Phillips.

Sport Waikato and Waikato Sunrise Rotary is asking that everyone contributes to the desired outcome of positive, supportive, and sportsman-like side-line behaviour.

So, support your kids by being a great sideline cheerleader; leave the playing to the kids, coaching to the coaches, officiating to the referees, and cheer loud and cheer fair!

Sideline Behaviour

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