Auckland junior sports stalwart shares tips to reduce abusive sideline support

East & Bays Courier:

Sideline abuse from parents is getting worse at Auckland junior sports events, a volunteer says.

Alejo Leguizamon​ has been around grassroots sport for more than two decades. He coaches his kid’s football side at Ellerslie AFC  and runs the junior futsal program at East City Futsal.

The amount of verbal sideline abuse in New Zealand sport was increasing and people not willing to report it were adding to the problem, Leguizamon said.

In 2015, a Stuff survey found that 53 per cent of respondents said they witnessed constant and aggressive shouting from the sidelines, while 20 per cent had seen actual violence, including 7 per cent witnessing that violence directed at children playing.

“The onus should be on the coaches and parents. Physical or verbal abuse over players, referees, parents and fellow coaches should not be tolerated and incidents must be reported to the local club and respective sport federation if we want to stamp it out,” Leguizamon said.

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