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From the President

Posted: 13-Dec-2016 by Maccabi VIC

I thought it may be interesting for you to know the 6 biggest issues highlighted by “Play by the Rules” in 2016. Most of these we also have to deal; with from time to time!

Number 1 (by a long margin): parental behaviour.

Everything seems to be progressing well until you discover some parents’ behaviour towards children, umpires and coaches is a little less than supportive. These days such behaviour is not only verbal, but can also be transmitted through social media. Last year Flinders University published research that showed parents’ behaviour had a profound impact on their child’s participation in sport, in some situations leading to the children losing motivation and confidence and immediately disengaging from sport. So what can you do? Contact the office and we will help. We have the resources and experience to guide you.

Number 2: junior team selection/age appropriate selection

Forget the stoushes taking place in our nation’s parliament. Any sports administrator knows that navigating the battleground of junior team selection through the advancing armies of emotional children and parents makes our politicians’ antics pale into insignificance. Selection of a sport team may be subjective, but it still needs to be handled objectively and transparently.

Number 3: taking photographs/videos of children at sport

Attend a children’s sporting event on any given day in Australia and you’re bound to see proud parents, grandparents, carers, relatives and friends taking photographs of children they know — all perfectly legitimate. But if the images are being posted on websites or distributed in publications, that’s where children can be put at risk.

Organisations that are aware of the potential risks and put appropriate measures in place can reduce the potential for images to be misused. Our Member Protection Policies provides guidelines to assist.

Number 4: Bullying

Whether it is verbal, social, physical or online, bullying is one of the most destructive behaviours anyone can experience. A 2014 study by Brigham Young University in the United States found that children who were bullied during PE classes or other physical activities were less likely to participate in physical activity one year later. To build a positive culture around your sport and keep kids interested, it is important to stamp out bullying. Once again this is all covered in our policy documents and we can assist.

Number 5: Corruption/fraud

Unless you have been stuck on a desert island for the past 12 months you would be aware that corruption in sport has become a hot topic following scandals in a number of football codes and cricket, among other sports. Hopefully this is not an issue that impacts us but we must always be vigilant.

Number 6: Discrimination/vilification

Some observers still believe that offensive language and discriminatory behaviour are all ‘part and parcel’ of competition sport. Yet sports are increasingly reacting to such behaviours by issuing breach notices, fines, or specific internal penalties. Soon they may also have to deal with human rights commissions’ processes, with an increasing number of victims seeking to pursue this avenue. Many of our Team sports do suffer from “anti semitic” comments. We need to address this immediately it becomes apparent and have the resources to assist.


As we head into the holiday season I wish everyone a safe and restful break. I thank the office team headed by Jacquie Lerner and supported by Viv Bayer and Nicole Brown for their dedication and hard work. Thank you to everyone involved, from Board members, Presidents, committees and hundreds of volunteers who devote hours of time.

Brian Swersky

Maccabi Victoria President

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