'Sportsmanship is the very first thing that should be taught' - Your views online

A youth football game had to be called off after a fight broke out between spectators supporting one of the sides. The Under-14s game between Spartans FC Youth and Edinburgh City Blacks was abandoned at half time.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 7:00 am
Children should be able to play the game without the fear of losing, readers s

Louise Wilson: Sportsmanship is the very first thing that should be taught to children and parents alike. As an ex-football parent I used to be appalled at the attitude of some of the other parents, not the children. My son was playing one Sunday morning, and his team lost. The other parents were furious with their children, complaining bitterly about what they should have done during the game. I said that I actually didn't care who won or lost, as long as both teams enjoyed the game… there was a shocked silence as they all stared disbelievingly at me. It had clearly never occurred to them that they and their children could enjoy the game without winning.

Margaret Thompson: It's not all about winning. First and foremost you should enjoy any sport you participate in and if you are the winner it's a bonus! Sometimes parents put too much pressure on children. I always told my kids when they were growing up that taking part and enjoyment was the main thing. I explained that you couldn't always win and there was always next time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hazel Erskine: And we wonder why we’ve got “problem” kids.

Vera Kendall: My granddaughter was playing football a few weeks ago. Most of her team were getting intimidated by the opposing team and their parents did nothing – some actually joined in with the abuse. I played netball, umpired and coached for nearly 50 years. The first rule was never to argue back with the umpire. Second rule if you get beaten on the day the other team were better or lucky and your time will come. It seems that it is win at all cost these days and if that includes aggression and violence is OK as long as you win. Sad times.

Jamie Clark: This happens too often. It really puts me off watching my son’s team play some of the other teams. Some coaches are just as bad.

Jenny Lee: If they can't spectate at their childs football match without causing their child embarassment then they should stay at home.

Stone Gemma: Team sports teach our kids resilience, accountability, patience and above all respect. These parents should be ashamed of themselves for letting their children down.

Cameron Cam: This doesn’t happen at rugby or cricket… different breed.

Alan Leitch: You are right... it’s just institutional racism at the cricket.

Steven Frater: A lot of parents and coaches get caught up in winning and forget what it’s all about. Kids’ football should be a safe environment.

Jnnfr Mackenzie:That’s why I encourage my son into rugby and never football. What an embarrassment.

Kenny Foote: It’s a good way to put kids off sports alltogether.

Paul Lamont: Sickening behaviou. What must these 13-year-old kids who just want to play football think?

Matthew Ashton: Do you not think 13-year-olds fight or haven’t watched their pals have quite serious fights at that age? Or are people getting soft these days? Dads having a roll about at their lads’ football is embarrassing, but I wouldn't go as far as “sickening”.

Elizabeth Darline: No wonder there is so much violence in football. Parents just don't teach their kids its OK to lose.

Hugh Hoffman: This reminds me of my days as a youth football referee 30 years ago. The boys were pretty well behaved most of the time. The parents, however...

Safety first

We asked readers what they would do to improve safety in Edinburgh.

Bruce Ormond: Resurface every single road.

Katie Gibson: Putting half decent lights on paths and streets would be a good start. And when people do mention things, get someone who cares enough to reply, never mind do something about it.

Audrey Dyer: Get all the tram work done – it’s disgusting how much time it has taken.

Maureen Cummings: Stop closing more roads to fix them when you can’t finish the ones you have already started.

Billy Young: The easiest thing to do to improve safety is to remove all of the Spaces for People scheme.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.