Clare Sports Partnership in conjunction with Sport Ireland, The Federation of Irish Sport, Clare GAA, Clare LGFA, Clare Camogie, Clare District Soccer league, and Clare schoolboys/schoolgirls league, have announced the launch of their campaign, “Season of Respect”.
The aim of this campaign is to tackle the rapidly growing problem of abuse towards referees and officials across sport throughout County Clare.
The constant mistreatment of referees and officials in our county is leading to, not only a lack of personnel being available for fixtures, but in some cases, referees leaving sport altogether. The Season of Respect Campaign aims to improve the levels of respect owed to such critical stakeholders of sport in County Clare, through several different initiatives, which will be revealed throughout the campaign.
Commenting on the announcement, John Sweeney, co-ordinator of Clare Sports Partnership said “We are pleased to be in a position to launch this initiative with the input and support from local sporting organisations, Sport Ireland and the Federation of Irish Sport. It is of the utmost importance that the negative behaviour towards referees in sport is highlighted and that all involved realise that referees are only human. The abusive behaviour is leading to an unwillingness of referees to be available this also poses a challenge with recruiting new referees to all codes.’ Mr. Sweeney further commented that ‘..without a referee in the middle of the field, there simply can be no game, and that is a situation that is looming should the attitude not change.’
Over the past few months, Clare Sports Partnership have been working with Clare GAA, Clare LGFA, Clare Camogie, Clare District Soccer league, and Clare schoolboys/schoolgirls league, in order to understand and design the Season of Respect Programme. From these discussions and workshops, the #seasonofrespect programme aims to:
Raise the awareness of the importance to respect the referee through media and educational based initiatives.
Create social contracts in sports clubs to allow the signatories to call out intolerable behaviour.
Provide a communal support for referees to seek peer and professional advice on matters.
Entice new recruits to the ranks of refereeing.
To kick off the Season of Respect Campaign we want to hear from you, and your members about your observations regarding the attitudes towards referees / officials. You can do this by going to our website www.claresports.ie/sor