Next Monday marks the start of Parents in Sport Week 2018 and rugby clubs and schools across the province will be celebrating the positive role parents can play in their children’s sporting development.

Parents in Sport Week is a joint initiative between Sport Ireland and the NSPCC and is run in October every year with over 100 sporting organisations taking part in various events across the country. Its main aims are to ensure parents recognise their role in keeping children safe in sport, helping them to positively influence their child’s enjoyment and wellbeing and to encourage clubs to engage and involve parents in sport.

As a follow-on from last year’s incredibly successful Silent Sidelines campaign, which was run in conjunction with Parents in Sport Week, clubs and schools across the province will be falling silent again as parents and coaches are asked to Play Your Part – Let Them Play

Speaking about the initiative Spirit of Rugby Officer Luke Murphy said:

“The feedback we received from the young players during last season’s Silent Sidelines was phenomenally positive, they loved the freedom and ability to express themselves without fear of interjection from their coaches and spectators.”

“It can be a tough gig for coaches, especially if they are used to guiding players through every play, but the rewards can be immense, both from the enjoyment of the players, but also from the ability to get an over-view of the game and not to be micro-managing every facet of play”

This year will see a new addition with the inclusion of schools rugby across the province in the initiative and Luke is hoping to build on the positives of the recent blitz in Athlone adding:

“We ran a Silent Sidelines event part of an U14 blitz in Athlone recently and the day was a huge success. Our Coach Development Officer, Conor Galvin, organised a superb day where eight teams from across Connacht, including a team from Co Cavan got into the spirit of the Silent Sidelines event. We distributed lollypops as a fun way to engage with the parents and coaches, and to keep them quiet and it was a great opportunity for everyone to reflect on their role in the young player’s enjoyment and development”

This year’s Parents in Sport Week will be held between the 1st to the 7st October and further information on how you can get involved and support your local club or school can be found on the Child Protection in Sport’s website: thecpsu.org.uk

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