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Promoting sportsmanship

Judy Smith addresses students from Mary Help of Christians about promoting sportsmanship and the new rules for basket- ball pl
Judy Smith addresses students from Mary Help of Christians about promoting sportsmanship and the new rules for basket- ball pl



COFFS Harbour basketball has gone back to traditions of old to engender more sportsmanship among the players in their Primary Schools competitions.

If you remember the days when sport was about having fun instead of winning, giving three cheers for the opposition and the referee at the end of the game and junior coaches concentrating on improving the processes rather than the results then you'll be ecstatic with the measures implemented at Sportz Central.

Before every Primary School match this season, all players must gather in the centre of the court, form a circle and recite the following pledge together: "I will play this game fairly, I will listen to my coach, I will obey the referees."

At the end of the match the same circle is formed and players give their three cheers for their opponents and another three in appreciation of the refs.

Implemented last weekend with the first matches of the new season, administrator of Coffs Basketball, Sue Goldsmith is ecstatic with the response the pledge received from the players and especially the parents.

"There were some parents who actually applauded when we announced to everyone what was being done," Goldsmith said.

"It's just an old fashioned thing that seems to have gone by the by."

Starting at the grassroots levels, does Goldsmith think the sportsmanship drive will work it's way up through older age groups?

"We used to do it as adults so hopefully yes it does," she replied.

"This is a good place to start though."

Referee's co-ordinator Ian Campbell believes that the emphasis in sportsmanship will bring some of the fun back into junior basketball.

"In the kids basketball lately, there's been a lot more emphasis placed on winning," Campbell said.

"Instead of being fun, kids are crying because they're not winning as there's pressure put on them to do so.

"There's been a lot more vocal coaches in the last few years and that's kind of stemming down through to the players."

Record numbers of teams are entering the competition this season and all feedback from parents last weekend points to even more children being pushed in the basketball direction next season.