Sport is never neutral

July 4, 2012

Late last week I wrote about the BC Minor Hockey coach and the alleged tripping incident in a spring hockey league tournament the previous weekend. If ever there were an incident that illustrates how bad sport does not happen by accident this is the poster child case study.

Because sport is never neutral – it will either have a positive effect on our children or it will have a negative effect. For sport to have a positive effect administrators, coaches, managers, parents and officials must act intentionally and not leave it to chance.

Acting intentionally in sport begins with parents. It begins with parents asking themselves what kind of sport experience they want for their children. Do they want an experience that will make their child feel good about themselves? Do they want an experience that will teach their child important life lessons and build their child’s character?  Do they want their child to have fun playing sports, so much so that they develop a lifelong love of playing sports? Do they want their child to be in a safe environment free from unnecessary risks beyond those of the sport itself? Do they want a sport experience for their child that is free of drugs, especially performance enhancing drugs and their precursors, the stimulant laden energy drinks? Do they want a sport experience for their child that allows their child to discover how good they can be, and to become as great a player as their abilities and desire permits? Do they want a sport experience that sets their child on a positive life course regardless of what they do in sports?

I suspect the overwhelming majority of parents would want this, from sport, for their child. If they do want this kind of sport for their child then they have to demand it. They have to hold sport administrators accountable, coaches accountable, officials accountable and themselves accountable for ensuring this kind of sport experience is provided to their child. Fortunately this kind of sport experience does exist in Canada. It is called True Sport. www.truesport.ca . Community sport organizations across the country are joining True Sport daily. Is your sport organization a member?