The Return of the Tales from the Berm


While our thoughts are with those around the country that can’t compete and are battling through another difficult period, we still want to recognise some of those clubs and riders that have been able to get around the track.

On Saturday night, the hotly anticipated Kings & Queens of Dirt took place at Big Rivers BMX Club with riders from every club in the Northern Territory heading to Katherine.

A total of 90 riders participated in a fantastic evening of racing that embodied the community values of BMX, with countless volunteers and club sponsors making the event a success.

Treasurer Chantelle Lange-Mathies said it was a perfect test for the club with the NT State titles set to take place at the venue at the start of October.

“This was our first major event since our return to BMX. It’s been a very difficult time around Australia with many clubs under duress, so we feel very fortunate to have been able to hold a large event at this time,” Lange-Mathies said.

“The event was very smooth, very well-planned event with the help of our volunteers and assistance from BMXNT.”  

President Sue Sinclair was very thankful for the massive community involvement to make this event happen and the support the club received from the community during the difficult period.

“Many businesses supported us in these trying times. Very grateful for the community getting behind us even though many of them are stressed and needing help. Big boost for our whole community and great for confidence in our town.”  Sinclair stated.

You can check out all the results from across the country HERE.

Across the Nation

South of Katherine in metropolitan Adelaide, The Cove BMX club welcomed 93 riders from all five metro clubs in Adelaide for the sixth instalment of the Cannon Champs. A wonderful day out for all riders with lots of new members giving it a crack and trying BMX for the first time.

It was a good run out for current national men’s junior elite champion and local Matthew Tidswell who clocked some fast times. Alongside him in the 13+ male was Jayden Fox of Happy Valley BMX Club and in third place, local Jed Keenihan.

Due to numbers, the women’s ledger merged with the men’s ledger as both Shae Archbold and Charlotte Tidswell used their home ground to their advantage with some quick times.

Pine Rivers BMX Club had close to 100 riders participate in their second round of Friday night club racing. Current seven-time world champion and local Thomas Tucker participated in the 14+ Open Invitational, taking out every moto and the final.

Over on the west coast, Southside BMX Club held another club day ahead of Round 3 of the Smarter than Smoking Super Series on August 16.  The club also received more positive news, awarded some funding from Melville City Council for the event and track maintenance.

In New South Wales and ACT, club days are slowly coming back every weekend with most clubs able to host at least one clubby in the last few weeks. Castle Hill BMX Club hosted 118 riders race on Saturday.

Finally, check out Launceston BMX Club. Some crazy weather has covered the track in snow and ice! Hopefully see you racing soon, Launceston.

 

2020 you can’t ask for much more 🌨😍

Posted by Launceston BMX Club on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

BMXA Pres talks cycling collaboration


Last month it was announced that BMX Australia (BMXA), Cycling Australia (CA) and Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) had sat down with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to look at ways in which the three cycling sports organisations could work together collaboratively in the future.

RECAP THAT NEWS HERE

The hope is to be able to benefit the combined membership bases of the three organisations and the broader community base of cycling participants in Australia.

BMXA President Neil Cameron is a supporter of the collaboration and the process taking place to explore opportunities for improved cooperation and governance outcomes.

Personally, Cameron is a passionate cyclist. His love for anything on two wheels stretches further than just BMX and is shared by his whole family.

Listen, below, to what he says about his love of cycling and what’s possible in the pipeline for the three sports, as he talks to Tim Webster on Macquarie Sports Radio.


 

Anti-doping authority launch new app

When it comes to knowing what substances are in medications and supplements, the message has always been clear – it’s up to an athlete to know what they’re putting in their body.

That message is coupled with consistent information from ASADA that abstinence from medications and supplements is always the safest option for athletes.

However, while the regulatory body does not endorse the use of supplements, they are aware that athletes use them regularly to assist with training. This has led to the creation of the ASADA Clean Sport app.

The newly launched application – available on both iOS and Android devices – has been designed to help prevent athletes from testing positive from contaminated supplements.

With almost one Australian athlete testing positive from a supplement every month, this new application should be embraced by athletes nationwide. Despite maintaining that they do not endorse supplement use, ASADA recognise that some supplements are significantly less risky than others.

The new app gives athletes a complete list of every single supplement sold on Australian shelves, which have been screened for prohibited substances by an independent laboratory.

The testing comes with a disclaimer, not all the ‘batch tested’ supplements come with a 100 per cent guarantee that they do not contain a prohibited substance, but they are significantly less risky than other products. Athletes using supplements should be sure to use the app as a guide!

It isn’t just quick and easy access to information about supplements that the app provides, it also has a whole lot of other great functions, including:

  • Checking medications
  • Ability to provide feedback on a testing mission (if not written on testing paperwork)
  • Reporting of doping
  • Complete online education
  • Short, snappy information on Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), travelling overseas and an athlete’s rights when being tested.

Understandably, the list of anti-doping obligations for athletes is long and can take up significant time. With this new app, it is hoped that athletes can reduce that time with an easy to use resource at their fingertips.

You can download the app for iOS devices HERE.

You can download the app for Android devices HERE.

BMX a hit at local WA primary school

Cockburn BMX Club in Western Australia have put BMX on the map with kids in their local area after setting up a mint display at the Aubin Grove Primary School for their sports gala event on Monday February 26.

The school, located south of the Perth CBD, is the largest in the state with in excess of 1200 children enrolled. With so many eager kids on the books, the biannual sports gala day was aimed at promoting the different sports and clubs available in the local community that kids can sign up to.

Recognising the fantastic opportunity this stage was for the sport, Cockburn BMX Club secretary Merrilee Shaw reached out to BMX Australia for support. In return she received a box of goodies that included, hats shirts and other bits and pieces.

The items were hand-delivered by BMXA Office Administrator Sylvia Armstrong, who was in WA preparing for this year’s national championships – which begin in just a few short days!

See more about nationals HERE.

In total more than 14 sports set up shop at the school for the sports extravaganza, but as it turns out the chance to get on a bike and receive a few goodies proved to be a real hit with the kids.

“We survived the sports gala,” Shaw reported triumphantly.

“There was so much interest in our sports setup and the BMXA merch was a hit!

“At one point I had a queue of 20 kids asking for info – it was wonderful. There are at least eight new families wanting to sign on, which is a brilliant result.

“The school is planning to run another event mid-year, so we will attend again.”

In addition to the merchandise, the club also prepared their own set of bikes for use on the day, ensuring kids could get a feel for the sport.

No doubt a big undertaking for those involved, exemplifying once again that it is the volunteers who are the backbone of BMX in Australia.

BMX clubs in Western Australia are also encouraged to register a Ride IN2 BMX day for a day on either the weekends of April 7-8 or April 14-15. Events held that weekend will receive financial digital advertising support from BMX Australia.

Any questions about this should be directed to: development@bmxaustralia.com.au

NSW ‘Active Kids’ program available

Parents, guardians and carers of NSW of school-aged BMX members and prospective members can now apply for a voucher valued up to $100.00 per calendar year to assist with the costs of registration, participation and membership costs for sport, fitness and active recreation activities.

VIEW FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM HERE

The program commenced on January 31, 2018 and parents, guardians and carers have until December 31 to claim and use their voucher. The voucher has been used to great effect since its introduction.

NSW South Coast parents are leading the way, with a report that parents in the region have claimed more than $350,000 since the introduction of the program. It is hoped that parents, guardians and carers of BMX riders will now take up this offer and continue to encourage a healthy lifestyle for children across the state.

Vouchers can be claimed for each student enrolled in school, and can be used at any time during the calendar year it is issued.

To be eligible for the NSW ‘Active Kids’ program, the following criteria must be met:

  • Must reside in NSW; and
  • Children must be aged between 4.5 and 18-years-old; and
  • Student must be enrolled in school (from Kindergarten to Year 12 (including those who are home schooled or enrolled in secondary school education at TAFE NSW); and
  • Must hold a current Medicare card

BMX Australia encourages all eligible families to apply for this assistance. For details on how existing and NEW members can use Active Kids with their membership, please see the below guide:

  1. Apply for the voucher – CLICK HERE!
  2. Once successful, you will receive an email with voucher information and in that email it will have a “Voucher Number”
  3. You will then need to login to your BMXA Account, to login CLICK HERE (New members can register for an account at this point)
  4. Once logged in, go to “My Membership” and click on either “Upgrade” or “Renew” depending on your current membership/new membership.
  5. Follow the prompts up to the “Payment” page and there will be a section to enter the voucher called “Active Kids Voucher Number”. Please enter your voucher number here.
  6. Once you have entered the voucher, click “Validate Voucher” and if successful, the voucher will be applied and $100.00 will be taken off the full amount.
  7. For the remaining amount, this will need to be paid via a MasterCard or Visa.
  8. Once the payment has gone through, the membership is valid and you should receive a receipt to your email address.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE:

  • If the membership and/or participation fees for an activity are more than $100, you will be required to pay the difference.
  • If the membership and/or participation fees are less than $100 for an activity then the balance will be forfeited.
  • The balance is not redeemable in cash or towards the membership and/or participation fees for another activity.
  • The voucher can only be used for the named person and can only be used once.
  • If you have any questions or wish to get in-touch with BMX Australia, please contact 02 9008 1300.

(COVER PIC: BMX NSW FACEBOOK PAGE – EDITORS NOTE: While we’re at it, how good is that picture?! A few faces there that have changed over the years and who have grown into great riders! Hopefully families make the most of this voucher to help their kids achieve their potential too!) 

Is your coach accredited?

Seeing your children jumping on their bikes and hitting the track full of enthusiasm is an equally exhilarating and exciting experience for a parent as it is their child.

Even better, is when there is a qualified coach to mentor and look after the riders on track to make sure that they stay safe, secure and are being taught the right skills for their riding level.

BMX Australia has a comprehensive coaching education structure that is aimed at training and accrediting coaches at all levels so they can support, nurture and develop BMX riders. It’s a way to improve the skills of our riders across the board.

Those that put their hand up to coach are supported by the BMXA coaching pathway, which not only helps them develop their skills as a coach. It also provides training in regards to duty of care and requires individuals to have a valid Working With Children Check and First Aid certificate.

So why is it important to check if your coach is accredited?

If you’re spending time and money on the sport of BMX, we want all our riders to be receiving the most up-to-date coaching information, from a coach who has valid checks and certifications, and importantly a valid First Aid certificate.

To find out if your coach is accredited, us the BMX Australia App, which has a full list of accredited coaches! You can also renew your membership, access online entries and check out results on the App.

For information on coaching, CLICK HERE.

Let them ride

We sport enthusiasts always have a habit of getting a bit carried away trackside. Cheering on our riders and children, is a very exciting and passionate part of our lives and is something that has been instilled in us from our own parents and coaches.

The desire for our participants to do well and be proud of their achievements is like a thirst of incredible satisfaction which can never be quenched. The energy we have as spectators is always encouraged by the excitement and passion we see from our riders.

However, sometimes we seem to lose sight of what’s important, sometimes our energy and excitement on the sidelines can begin to dampen the spirits of those on the track. Sometimes, the ideology of winning can overthrow the importance of why we picked up a bike in the first place.

Our words of encouragement or disappointment can etch in our riders for the rest of their lives. The words shouted, exclaimed or exuberantly communicated while watching a race can begin to suck away the life and light that shines through every rider who hits our tracks.

No one ever means to do that, and we’re pretty proud of the fact that it rarely occurs in BMX. But it never hurts to remind ourselves that while we’re here to get good results, make a team, win a title or ride at worlds…involvement in BMX always begins with enjoyment for being on the bike.

And there isn’t much out there more liberating than just getting on, riding and having fun and forgetting about times, results and benchmarks.

The below article from Play by the rules explores the effects that words from the sideline, no matter how major or minor, can have on a rider.

Let Kids Be Kids – Play by the Rules resource

Parents all want their children to shine on the sports field. Yet there’s nothing that will dull a child’s sparkle more than having parents and spectators pressure them from the sidelines.

It can be an easy trap to fall into as an adult. We go to adult sports events where the noise of the crowd masks all but the voices of those nearest us. We comment out loud at players’ performances, roar at mistakes, and vocally urge our favourites to do better and go harder.

We call it atmosphere.

But at a child’s sports event, we are likely to be one of only a few dozen spectators. When we scream instructions or yell in disgust, our child and other children on the field can hear every comment, and they know where it comes from.

What they hear can have a marked impact on them for the rest of their sporting lives. Some may rise above it. Many can’t.

Now in his fifties and one of Australia’s most successful football leaders, (EDIT: Now former) Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is at the top of his game, revered for his energy and confidence, and with a reputation for not suffering fools gladly.

It may come as a surprise to learn then, that Postecoglou harbours a discomforting memory from his childhood of huddling, frightened with his team mates and opposition players as parents argued on the sideline.
Throwing his support behind the Play by the Rules ‘Let Kids Be Kids’ campaign to raise awareness of the impact of poor sideline behaviour, Postecoglou recounts the story of how an enjoyable weekend sports match suddenly turned ugly.

“I must have been 10 or 11 and the parents started arguing and fighting amongst each other,” he says in a video message for ‘Let Kids Be Kids’. “And the thing that struck is that the kids—us—both teams, just huddled together in the centre circle, each of us frightened for ourselves and I guess for our parents.

“And even at such a young age it made such an impression on me that the people arguing and fighting outside the field forgot why they were there … because why they were there were the kids, and their kids were scared, huddled together, opposition and team alike, trying to protect one another.”

Postecoglou is one of a number of high profile sports people endorsing the ‘Let Kids be Kids’ campaign. Netball and volleyball player Caitlin Thwaites says children find shrugging off sideline comments very difficult. Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja says sideline abuse often robbed him of his childhood fun both on and off the sports field. Former

 

Australian Rules footballer Nick Dal Santo observes that even parents who are trying to encourage their children, frequently do it in a ‘bit of a degrading way’. “And if just keeps chipping away at them, eventually they’ll either one, drop out of the sport, or two, just purely not enjoy it for what it’s meant to be.”

By far some of the most moving stories recorded as part of the ‘Let Kids be Kids‘ campaign come from children themselves. Children’s comments about sideline abuse range from: “it makes me feel like I’m useless and can’t do anything”, to “sometimes it makes me sad, but sometimes it makes me feel angry at the same time”. One child pleads: “Would you please like stop yelling at me on the court because it’s making me feel like I can’t do it anymore”.

Play by the Rules has released a toolkit with practical advice and steps to help sports groups stamp out poor sideline behaviour and power junior sport with positive support.

The message being sent is clear: let kids have fun and do what they love. On the sports field, let kids be kids.

 

Sportsmanship: where BMX ranks

Our Australian BMX community has always prided itself in being friendly and open to all those eager to get involved. We love celebrating and sharing the success and achievements of our fellow riders.

Widely recognised, sportsmanship and respect for one another capitalises a day on the track and assists new members to join the fray. All too frequently, positive examples of sportsmanship are seen at BMX events, and it’s something that our riders can be proud of.

Before and after races, you will see riders high fiving, shaking hands with one another and giving encouraging slaps on the back. Most importantly, sportsmanship promotes social connection away from the track, and long-term friendships.

The exchanging of jerseys is a well seen act throughout all of the major sporting events around the world. At the UCI BMX World Championships, like at events such as the FIFA World Cup, riders share jerseys as a memento of their time on the big track, racing competitors from across the globe. It’s a special occasion that creates lifelong memories.

These acts of sportsmanship are one of the essential components of why sport is instrumental to having a happy and healthy lifestyle. Not only does it provide individuals the ability to have direction and excitement, but it teaches the importance of humility, respect and above all the opportunity to make life lasting friendships and happiness.

The Play by the Rules article below titled, Great moments in Olympic sportsmanship’ expresses the unbelievable attitude and respect shown at the highest level. With their career dreams within sight, the ability to forgive, forget and move on is an incredibly humbling read.

If you’re on or around the track throughout the 2018 BMXA National Championships, National Series or other club events, try and replicate the notable displays of sportsmanship which have been performed by these incredible athletes. Enjoy!

Great moments in Olympic sportsmanship

The Olympic and Paralympic Games have certainly produced some amazing performances over the years, but here at Play by the Rules we’re more interested in those moments of great sportsmanship that typify what the games are all about . . . the triumph of the human spirit.

With a long, rich history to choose from following are a few notable examples. Can you think of others?

Lutz Long, German long jumper

At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Lutz Long set an Olympic record during the heats to qualify for the finals. American Jesse Owens fouled on his first and second jumps and faced disqualification if he fouled a third time. Long, a German, advised Owens to adjust his take-off point to several inches behind the foul line to ensure that he would advance to the next round. Owens took Long’s advice, qualified for the finals, set a new world record and won the gold medal. Long came second. “It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler,” Owens later said.

Even rivals and opponents on and off the track can provide advice and guidance to their fellow competitors to encourage all to be racing at their best. Not only does it encourage friendships, but it also tests your skills further and makes an all-round better BMX race for all.

Shawn Crawford, American sprinter

American sprinter Shawn Crawford won the gold medal in the 200m at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Racing four years later in Beijing, he finished in fourth place but was awarded the silver medal when the athletes in second and third place were disqualified. The original second-placed runner, Churandy Martina from Netherlands Antilles, received a package eight days later containing Crawford’s silver medal. “He told me he didn’t feel good that it was his medal,” said Martina. “He said he doesn’t deserve it.”

Being humble throughout your sporting life will encourage and promote you to live your life in a guilt free world.

John Landy, Australian distance runner

Yes, we know. This is not strictly an Olympic story but it was so gracious and amazing that it deserves to be included. Plus, it was the Australian National Championships ahead of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games so . . . close enough!

Australian distance runner John Landy, the second man to run a mile in under four minutes, was chasing the world 1500m record in 1956 at the Australian National Championships. Another Australian legend, Ron Clarke, was in the lead when he stumbled and fell. As the other runners passed Clarke, Landy jogged back to help him to his feet and abandoned all hope of breaking the world record. However, Landy’s race wasn’t over. Coming from well behind, he displayed amazing speed and endurance over the last two laps to win the race only six seconds outside the world mark.

Respecting and assisting fellow competitors is the highest and most rewarding sense of personal glory. The sense of well being and purpose is a extraordinary feeling. If one of our fellow BMX lovers is injured, take the time to make sure he/she is okay and help them get back to their feet.

Kurt Fearnley, Australian wheelchair racer

At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, the UK’s David Weir won the gold medal in the men’s 800m T54 race ahead of Kurt Fearnley from Australia. Following the race, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ordered a re-run after discovering a lane violation. Fearnley and the Australian authorities wrote to the IPC asking that, in the spirit of sportsmanship, the re-run be cancelled and the medals re-instated. “I just thought that at the end of the day a race was run, it may not have been the race that was supposed to happen but it happened and the best man won,” said Fearnley. Fearnley and Weir will again race in London.

Loss is something that is never a nice feeling. It is one of the true tests of sport which some individuals do not even have the ability to get over. But Kurt Fearnley has hit the nail on the head. “At the end of the day a race was run it may not have been the race that was supposed to happen but it happened and the best man won.” Another race will come.

Lawrence Lemieux, Canadian sailor

Racing alone near the halfway point in his Finn class race at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, Lemieux was in second place in a seven-race event when he spotted two Singapore sailors in the water. Both injured, they were unable to right their boat. Lemieux broke away and sailed to rescue them, waited for an official patrol boat and then transferred the two sailors. He continued his race and finished in 22nd place. After the race, the International Yacht Racing Union jury awarded him second place, his position when he went to the aid of the capsized crew.

Judy Guinness, British fencer

At the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Britain’s Judy Guinness was on her way to a gold medal when she informed officials that her opponent, Austria’s Ellen Preis, had touched her twice. The hits would have gone undetected and Guinness would have won. Instead she relinquished the win and took the silver medal.

The feeling that Judy Guinness felt when relinquishing the gold must have been an extraordinary moment and something that she will hold as one of her proudest moments.

Katrin Green, German long jumper

We’ve included this one because it happened just recently at a Paralympic World Cup event.

With a medal in the bag, Katrin Green watched as her Chinese opponent, Juan Wang, leaped for gold. Not content with just being a spectator, Green whipped up the crowd and helped them cheer Wang on to a winning jump of 4.78m. Green settled for bronze.

We can’t always control the outcome of a game or a race, but we can control how we each behave while competing. Good sportsmanship is the mark of a great athlete and it’s moments like those listed above that will be remembered long after the medals have been presented.

Good sportsmanship should be actively encouraged at all levels of sport. Your club should have a Code of Behaviour that clearly explains what is expected of each member on and off the field and outlines the principles of good sportsmanship and fair play. Go to the Play by the Rules Club Toolkit for a Code of Behaviour template. Simply add your club’s logo or use it as the starting point to develop your own policy.

 

Will you play by the rules this BMX season?

It is a well-known fact that we Australians are very passionate about our sport. Not only are we very competitive, but also we see sport as a means of our lifestyle and character.

An issue arises however when our passion and love for our sports crosses a line into becoming overbearing. When this happens our thought processes aren’t as clear as they should be, and often upon reflection we realise that.

At BMXA we’re dedicated to providing a safe, friendly and prosperous environment for members and providers participating in any BMXA activities.

Our organisation greatly values the social and cultural significance of sport for individuals and for the community. We all have the right to enjoy our sport, at whichever level and in whatever capacity we participate.

Play by the Rules encourages all the values, which our organisation adheres too. It provides a diverse range of information, resources, tools and free online training to increase the capacity and capability of administrators, coaches, officials, players and spectators.

If you’re a parent and are excited for the upcoming events on the Aussie calendar, why not take five minutes to read this Play by the Rules article by teacher and an early childhood neurodevelopmental consultant Bindy Cummins. It’s a timely reminder to make sure that our events are a safe, fun and a happy environment for all.


PaRANTING from the sidelines

As a child development consultant and the editor of a parenting magazine, I provide a lot of information to parents. What you do with that information and the way you parent your children is your call and your call only. As with all parenting ‘advice’, take the bits you like and that suit your parenting style and leave the rest.

That being said, after spending 18 months in children’s oncology with our first-born, watching and weeping as family after family walked out without their child, the one thing I do ask, is that you choose to see every experience with your little ones, good or bad, as a privilege. I have this to offer on parenting from the sideline.

After what has been years and years of watching our children play sport and having done a touch of coaching, I have seen and heard an array of parental sideline behaviour, ranging from the absolutely awesome to the completely unbearable and shocking.

If you have a child who already plays sport, or if you are about to embark on a future that involves your youngster participating in sport, then aim to train yourself, from the very first blow of the very first whistle, to offer encouragement and encouragement only from the sideline.

Learn early how to bite your tongue when you feel you would like to add anything more than this to the game.

This is not as easy as it may seem… my personal experience, #OwningMySlipUps, has taught me that. When you find yourself about to burst forth, remembering the following may help…

You are not the coach.
The coaches you will come across are most likely volunteers who are dedicating their time and energy to helping your child develop an understanding and a love of the game. You are not the coach. Don’t try to be the coach. If you want to be the coach, put your hand up next time you register your child. Unless you have been specifically asked by the coach to help, your instructions from the sidelines (or tracksides) will be; annoying the coach; confusing the players and quite simply, not helping.

You are not the umpire.
The umpires are human and doing the best they can. Many of them are still children or very young adults. Unless they have specifically come to you at the beginning of the match and personally asked you for help, then they do not need your help. Your child may be that umpire one day. Think how you would like sideline (or trackside) parents to treat your child.

You are modelling behaviour.
Consider the type of sportsperson you would like your child to become. One of my recent sideline mornings involved witnessing a parent very audibly shouting at the referee, disputing decisions and becoming visibly angry and frustrated. During this game, his young son was given a yellow card for…guess what? Arguing with the ref. Enough said. (No matter what happens during a BMX race event, make sure you encourage respect and sportsmanship from your child.)

Your child doesn’t want you shouting instructions from the sideline.
Unless your child has specifically asked you to let him and his team mates know where you think they should be standing and what moves you think they should be executing, then resist the temptation to do so. Your advice will more than likely earn you a reputation, not a good one… and your child will soon be asking that you no longer attend the games.

The results don’t matter.
Really, they don’t. Whether they win or lose, whether the umpire makes good calls or not so good ones, whether the coach plays the strongest players or not ¬– our kids learn, we learn, we all grow. In the grand scheme of things the results really, really don’t matter. Learning to grow through each experience matters. Learning to gracefully accept defeat or victory matters. Learning to respect the umpire and the coach matters. Learning how to improve matters. Learning sportsmanship and teamwork matters. Learning a love of participation matters.

If you slip up and openly blow off some regrettable steam, publicly apologise to those who witnessed it… especially the children. We all make mistakes, often. It is what we do to fix our mistakes that is important.

Above all, remember it is both a privilege and a pleasure to have a child who you can watch play sport. Families who have lost a child would give everything they have to be watching that child play a game.

Enjoy it… holler encouragement and applaud the players on BOTH teams, thank the coach and the umpire EVERY time and help to foster a love of sport in all the children you are fortunate enough to cheer on from the sideline.

Bindy Cummings (B.Ed hons) is a teacher and an early childhood neurodevelopmental consultant for GymbaROO. She is the Editor of GymbaROO’s parenting magazine: First Steps, their digital articles and the co-creator of GymbaROOs free online video series for parents of babies: Active Babies Smart Kids. She is the mother of four children. More on Bindy Cummings here. More articles by Bindy Cummings here http://activebabiessmartkids.com.au/articles/paranting-sideline/