It is essential that organisations take responsibility for promoting safe and fair play for all participants. Allowing discrimination and harassment can reduce morale and will reduce your income and membership numbers. It leads to costly discrimination complaints which could end up in court Correctly managing behaviour will:
- Attract new members and keep existing ones.
- Ensure the strongest commitment to the club and the sport.
- Improve co-operation between members.
- Result in greater personal and team satisfaction.
Organisations and clubs should provide:
- Information rewards and sanctions.
- Incident reporting and template documents.
- Assistance in the management of volunteers and/or members of the public behaviour standards.
- Information on its own organisational standards.
Since this is so important, a number of valuable resources have been produced to help organisations handle the behaviour of club members and other people involved in the club’s activities. Many are sports based but can be easily adapted to other youth or community based activities.
Play by the Rules is a website and resource kit designed to give free online information about discrimination, harassment and child protection – www.playbytherules.net.au
“Sport rage” is any violence, foul language, harassment, abuse or bad behaviour in sport. Sport rage is bad for sport – it reduces enjoyment, risks safety and tarnishes club reputations. This website and resource kit – from the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation – has tools and strategies for reducing Sport Rage – www.sportandrecreation.nsw.gov.au/sportrage
One tool for reducing Sport rage is the Coloured Vest program. This is a free program designed to build a more tolerant environment for officials so they are less likely to be harassed and more likely to continue in their role. Any NSW sporting club keen to support beginner officials can register for the Coloured Vest Program, which is FREE. NSW Sport and Recreation works with clubs to implement the program by providing a “getting started” information pack, it contains the following:
- Five coloured vests
- Play by the Rules lanyards
- Promotional materials, including posters and cards and
- Providing ongoing support, advice and ideas on supporting new officials.
You can register for the program – http://www.sportandrecreation.nsw.gov.au/sportrage