|Published Online: December 8, 2015||$US5.00|
The reported increase of unethical conduct in all levels of sport diminishes the value of sport and risks turning away participants and fans at all levels. This paper focuses on root causes of inappropriate behavior in sport related to parental involvement. Literature suggests that negative parent behavior affects the safety and enjoyment of participating athletes. In an effort to deal with negative behaviors, Respect Group developed the Respect in Sport (RiS) education program geared to parents. The aim of this research is to explore the effectiveness of RiS and its impact on a group of minor hockey parents in Calgary, Canada. A survey was administered to all parents/guardians who completed the RiS program after a three-year period. Three key findings include: 1) Increased awareness—Parents report they are more aware of their behavior and that of others’ in relation to what is supportive and what is not. 2) Need for more integration—Study participants identify that real change will only come when the program is imbedded into the culture of the sport. Some wish to see the program made mandatory annually to increase cultural integration. 3) More accountability— Participants explain they believe the program is a step forward in improving respect and reducing maltreatment. The findings provide valuable insight in the development of mitigative strategies to address inappropriate parent behaviour. The findings may also be transferable to other sports and support education as a way to affect positive, albeit incremental change in sport culture.
|Keywords:||Respect, Sport Culture, Parental Behaviour|
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada
Associate Professor, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada