Why True Sport Matters

A call to action for parents and coaches: win with dignity and lose with grace.

When news broke last week about the baseball brawl in Colorado and the assault on an official in Orillia, Ontario, it was extremely disheartening and disturbing. It’s hard to believe that situations like these are happening, but they’ve become the sad reality in today’s world. Bad sport stories like these tend to overshadow all of the good stories we experience and hear about. Winning seems to be the most important outcome for some parents and coaches and their actions can have a negative impact on today’s youth. When this happens, everyone involved with the sport experience loses.

It is no secret that retention and participation rates in sport are on the decline and stories like these do not help. Unfortunately, it takes something so severe to happen before we recognize the importance of putting values at the heart of sport. Embracing the True Sport Principles can help create good sport experiences, but we have to be intentional so that more people benefit from what good sport has to offer.

When the stakes are high, we challenge you to be in control of your emotions and to hold each other accountable for your actions. From the playground to the podium, be part of creating good sport experiences, because good sport has the power to make a great difference.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by bad sport stories, but if we look around, good sport stories are everywhere. Two weeks ago, Canadians experienced the power of sport. The Toronto Raptors united the nation when they were crowned the 2019 NBA Champions. Gracious in defeat, the Golden State Warriors took out a full-page ad in the Toronto Star to congratulate the Raptors on their victory. It was a powerful gesture of good sport and respect for their opponents, regardless of the outcome.

Take a moment to reflect on why we put kids in sport… to provide them with a safe space to have fun, to foster friendships and to gain valuable life skills. Winning is an important but small part of sport and we must never forget that.

Featured resource: True Sport Tips for Parents