QRL Northern Wide Bay Operations Manager Dave Pearce says it is not the players who are causing the problems at junior sport; they just want to have fun, like Norville’s Keylan Majors (with ball) last season.
QRL Northern Wide Bay Operations Manager Dave Pearce says it is not the players who are causing the problems at junior sport; they just want to have fun, like Norville’s Keylan Majors (with ball) last season. Sandra McLeod

End to rugby league bad behaviour

IN the wake of last season’s under 16 grand final brawl, which saw a spectator banned for 10 years and seven players suspended, local rugby league figurehead Dave Pearce has taken action.

The Northern Wide Bay operations manager has penned a Guide to Relationships in Junior Rugby League - advice for all adults involved in the game and how to interact with players, coaches, referees, officials and parents.

“That fight (in the grand final) definitely incited this guide, but I think the penny dropped one Sunday while I was watching a junior game,” Pearce said.

“The vocals coming from the parents — I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There’s no need for it and it is quickly spoiling a great game.”

Pearce, who has been a coach, selector, manager and player in his time, believes the current problems surrounding conflict on the sporting field are generally caused by parents’ attitudes.

“The kids just want to play to have fun, be with their mates and learn a new sport, but some parents try to dictate the game and lose perspective about what’s important,” he said.

The guide attempts to inform parents, in particular, what their role and relationship should be with players, coaches and various officials.

“Every relationship is important and the guide shows exactly why that is the case,” he said.

Other initiatives exist that encourage positive behaviour on and around the sporting field, including the Sport and Recreation Queensland’s True Sport Lives Here and Federal Government website www.playbytherules.net.au.

But what sets this program apart is its local origin, borne from the problems that Pearce can see first hand on local football fields.

“I hope it does a heap of good, I think people have been crying out for some sort of code to abide by, and I think this is very easy to follow and appreciate,” Pearce said.

It is targeted at grassroots footy, but can be adapted to any sport.

“The principles are the same and I know some other sports have already expressed interest in using it this season. I’d really encourage it,” Pearce said.

Every junior club has been issued 100 copies of the guide to be dispersed at sign-on days as the season approaches.



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