The weekend involved coaches and spectators remaining silent throughout games to raise awareness of the need to create a positive and pressure free environment in which children can enjoy football and learn to love and develop in the game. It was not mandatory for youth leagues to take part but three of our Leagues chose to sign up to this initiative, Milton Keynes District Development League, Milton Keynes & Border Counties Youth League and the Reading and West Berkshire Youth League who encouraged their member clubs to take part and spread awareness of this initiative.
Feedback has been mixed but with a general consensus that although the parents didn’t necessarily like remaining silent the majority of players found it helpful, however coaches would prefer that they were able to continue coaching especially for the younger players.
Some of the comments received positively supporting the weekend are detailed below:
“Players said they enjoyed the silence from the side lines with one player saying “I’m going to tell my dad” “
“coaches found it hard, myself included….but totally agree with the parents silence, wish we could enforce it long term”
“it was very good for the boys, they done (sic) very well and I enjoyed seeing them thinking more and calling to each other. And less noise after the goals did mean they carried on with the game”
“parents found it very hard”
“their team communicated better, or perhaps could be heard!”
However some others stated:
There was a “loss of atmosphere” and the “children were confused by the lack of support even though they had been told beforehand”
Thank you for all your feedback on the weekend and I look forward to working with you all to improve Respect across the County for the rest of the season.
If you require any information about Respect please contact Maria.Ready@berks-bucksfa.com, County Welfare Officer and Lead Respect Officer.