Parents and Spectators

Eltham College is seen as providing excellence in the sporting arena and as such, staff, pupils and parents have a responsibility to be seen as the standard bearers of all that is good about sport.

At Eltham College we are proud of the sporting achievements and physical accomplishments of our pupils, and would like to thank you as the parents and supporters of the boys for helping to allow us to nurture their talents and hone their skills in the sporting arena. We would also like to provide a gentle reminder of Eltham College’s ethos in this competitive environment and the responsibility that we all have to uphold the principles that underpin this culture not only during but before and after sporting events.

The following points clarify what we believe to be the essential standards associated with Eltham College sporting culture. In effect it is a code of conduct for supporters but is intended to include you rather than alienate you and should be digested with this sentiment in mind.

Our pupils need to learn how to be competitive while at the same time remaining in control. They need to learn how to win graciously and to take defeat in their stride. While not wanting to lose, they need to take it in good heart and be magnanimous to the winners. Our pupils must learn not to question the referees or umpires, without whom they could not perform. They need to learn to focus on their game, to support the rest of their team rather than be critical of them. These are all lessons that are needed for life.

The same, of course, applies to parents. We wish you to support your children and their team but there are certain things that are unacceptable and do not teach the children to develop in the way we would all wish them to. We and you are their role models and they respond directly to our behaviour to them and between ourselves.

This should mean that all efforts and achievements are met with positive reinforcement, no matter what the outcome. This is essential at an early age to ensure that the child develops a healthy mental approach to sport and physical activity, as well as learning to attribute their success, no matter how small, to the correct cause or source. This in turn will encourage the development of strong self-esteem and positive motivational factors that allow the pupil to seek success rather than avoid failure. Parents should also be instrumental in promoting sportsmanship and fair play while consistently encouraging their child to play to the rules and avoid negative comments or instructions of any kind.

On the touchline parents should at all times be supportive of all the children and the team in general. It gains nothing to berate a child or the team; they will just become resentful of you. Try as much as possible not to coach your child from the touchline - you do not know what their coach may have instructed them to do already and they can become confused.

Do not at any stage abuse the umpire or referee or criticise them. Like us, they are not perfect and do make mistakes, but in the huge majority of cases they are not biased, they are doing their best, they have been trained, they do have coaching and refereeing awards and it does not help them, the game or your children if you publicly show dissent, it simply creates a rather difficult and nasty atmosphere.

Parents and supporters do not just have a responsibility to their child but to other parents and supporters as well. No parents should use the performance of their child to derive personal gain or satisfaction. Whilst promoting a healthy feeling of competition within your child is encouraged, parents and supporters should never engage in competition with another parent or supporter and taunting or negative comments will not be accepted at any time. Parents should look to applaud, encourage and praise not only their own child but any good play or performance, while also consoling any disappointment no matter who emerges victorious.

The entire coaching staff is wholly grateful for the support, encouragement and assistance many parents provide, often driving long distances and rearranging busy schedules to cheer on the team on a regular basis. It is essential however that all parents and guardians agree to support their respective coach’s decisions (even in the event that they do not fully agree with them) and do not act to undermine their efforts.

Please refrain from:

  • Entering the playing arena at any time unless invited to do so by the coach
  • Airing any grievances relating to any aspect of the game; the players; the coach or officials whilst in the presence of our pupils or our visitors

Coaching staff are open to discussion and would always wish for the speedy resolution of any issues or concerns but this process must take place in the correct manner and at the correct time. All parent - coach dialogue should be non- argumentative and constructive in its content.

Parents and spectators have a responsibility to themselves. The joy and pride associated with watching children learn and grow through sport should be experienced to the fullest, because life-long memories are being created before your eyes. Your children play sport for their enjoyment, which in turn fosters a feeling of self-worth and respect. Please help them in this endeavour by focusing on your child’s efforts and personal achievements rather than purely on whether they win or lose.

Fortunately for the vast majority of the time we are able to get great enjoyment going round the pitches watching the players giving their all for the team and school and performing to a high level. It is great to meet and see parents supporting the children and the teams and we look forward to watching some engrossing clashes and exciting games this year as always. Thank you in advance for your support.