Sporting kids ‘threatened’ by adults

David Torrance MSP
David Torrance MSP

AN area MSP has thrown his support behind a campaign to protect children from abusive behaviour by adults while they’re taking part in sport.

Children’s charity Children 1st has reported that youngsters across this area are regularly being called names and are subjected to swearing from the sidelines.

It also revealed that some children under 12 reported being pushed, hit, kicked and punched, with the problem of physical violence appearing to get worse for players in their late teens.

Almost 20 per cent said poor behaviour from adults affected their performance badly or made them feel like quitting.

Mr Torrance has backed a motion in the Scottish Parliament to have the issue recognised, while the charity has launched the Sideline Bad Behaviour campaign in response, and has set up a dedicated helpline to help local sports clubs deal with intimidating and abusive behaviour from adults at kids’ sports events.

Mr Torrance said: “Sporting activities are an essential part of any child’s development and protecting them while participating should be the responsibility of everyone involved.

“It is important therefore that where poor spectator behaviour exists, groups and organisations providing these invaluable sporting opportunities should take affirmative action and I would ask them to back the Sideline Bad Behaviour campaign.”

As well as the helpline the charity’s national services, Safeguarding in Sport and ParentLine Scotland, are offering advice for parents and adults worried about their own or other’s behaviour.

Contact 0141 418 5674 for more details.