15
Sep
09

Sportsmanship Counts!

Piste or pitch, rink or ring, course or courts … there is a code of conduct for each one and sportsmanship counts! One could call it grace, often under pressure, and nowhere is it more important or respected than in sport. As a family with two growing young athletes within, we spend a lot of time either engaged in sport or watching the professionals. There are some wonderful life lessons to be learned and heart-warming stories to share. I can honestly say I enjoy almost every sport and mostly for the stories of hard work, achievement and yes, grace. Which all leads up to how inevitably shocking and disappointing it is when the athletes go off the rails and present really poor behaviour. Serena Williams at the US Open is the most recent example in a sadly growing list of athletes who lose their cool on camera. Watching the footage from the tournament and the many clips of Serena’s, not one, but two outbursts led me to the following considerations:
1. Are we right to expect professional athletes to serve as role models?
2. Did anyone else notice that the crowd at the US Open is typically more rowdy and vocal than say, Wimbledon? Did this contribute to the scene? Is there a tournament culture?
3. Are these outbursts becoming more common?
4. Are we seeing more rude behaviour and disrespect among young athletes as a result of watching these outbursts on television?
Let us know what you think!

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