'Not tolerated': League club slams bad volunteer behaviour

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Hervey Bay Seagulls Rugby League club has taken a strong stance against bad behaviour from players and officials.

Responding to reports that two club officials and two players had been suspended following a post-match altercation,

Justin Geldard,chairman of the Hervey Bay Disciplinary Tribunal, said poor behaviour needed to be dealt with.

"Junior sport no matter where it is played relies significantly upon volunteers and the parents of young players," Geldard said.

"The role of the parental volunteer sees every year individuals give up their time to assist a club with coaching junior players, helping on the committee, helping in the canteen or like myself sitting on a Disciplinary Tribunal. The fact that people give up their time to volunteer does not however afford them the right to act in a manner which brings junior sport into disrepute."

Geldard said the Seagulls committee had received "a number of complaints" about the June 23 incident at Stafford Park and made the decision to call four people before the tribunal, being two junior players and two parents, one of which had an official team role on the day.

"In advance of their respective Tribunal hearings all four persons were provided with correspondence indicating that a complaint had been received in relation to their behaviour on June 23 2019 and it had been determined by the Committee that they should appear before the judiciary to respond. All persons were furthermore suspended indefinitely until the Tribunal," Geldard said.

He said the parents involved in the incident had been offered the option of having the July 8 tribunal hearing adjourned for two weeks, to give them the chance to gather advice or evidence in their defence.

"On each occasion an adjournment was offered it was declined with the indication that they all wished the hearing to proceed on the night," Geldard said.

He said both junior players involved had been "found guilty of engaging in a physical altercation with each other."

"Subsequently each player received a one-week suspension to reflect that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the club but in saying that also reflecting their age, maturity and lack of any previous Tribunal history," Geldard said.

He said both adults had been found guilty of "bringing the game into disrepute by their conduct on that date."

Geldard said their behaviour was determined to be excessive and warranted the penalty imposed.

A one-match ban, suspended for six months was handed down to one of the officials.

The other official received a four-match ban, suspended for six months.

Before the incident was first reported, the Chronicle contacted a club spokesman who declined to comment.

Following the July 8 tribunal hearing, a Seagulls committee member told the Chronicle the club could have handled the matter better and would be reviewing its processes.

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