One of the things that we find difficult, with what we do, is sometimes the lack of Role Models in especially in Sport. Some sports have them in abundance and others it is a challenge to find people that our young men and women should look up to. Sportsmanship is closely associated with Gentlemanly behaviour, look at the definition in the dictionary. (Image from BBC Sport)
1 – The character, practice, or skill of a sportsman
2 – Sportsmanlike conduct, as fairness, courtesy, being a cheerful loser, etc.
a person who exhibits qualities highly regarded in sport, such as fairness, generosity, observance of the rules, and good humour when losing
It is pretty clear what it means to be a good sportsperson. One sport stands out for its poor example, Football. It is always in the headlines for it’s less than sportsmanlike behaviour but the headbutting of a player by a coach shows the level that the sport has sunk.
We know some delightful and very gentlemanly and sportsman like footballers but they are not shown or highlighted. Almost every week we see Professional Footballers crowding, shouting and swearing at referees, this is just poor behaviour, on or off a football pitch. I know of parents that have witnessed similar scenes by young children on weekend games. It has filtered down, to the general play and that is a shame.
Sport can be, indeed should be a uniting force, look at the Winter Olympics and some of great sportsmanlike behaviour, such the Cross-Country Men’s Gold Medalist waiting 30 minutes to congratulate the last man to cross the finish line.
We should stand up and do something about it, not wait till it gets out of hand. I and the PG team, stand and applaud the French National Rugby coach Philippe Saint-Andre, who suspended for a match his best player, Louis Picamoles, for showing disrespect to the referee. Mr Picamoles, did not shout or get in the referee’s face, he just slow clapped him and gave him a sarcastic thumbs up.
Would there be many players left on a Football field if Football Club managers did that to their players, I doubt it!
We are all about making the world a more respectful place, and the way to do that is to show it in public life, indeed it should be shown on the playing fields of the world. Yes, you should be competitive. Yes, you should want to win. But not at the expense of humanity, fairness and good conduct. These things filter off the sports fields and into society as a whole!
I shall leave the last words to the French Coach –
“Certain attitudes have no place whatsoever in our sport. Respect is the foundation of our values. It is important to send a signal to all players who have the privilege of wearing the jersey and remind them it imposes duties and obligations.”
Yours Sportsmanlike and Respectfully,
(Image from the BBC Sports web pages)