Let Us Play
Berks & Bucks FA launches new media campaign to tackle poor spectator behaviour in youth football.
Berks & Bucks FA has launched a new media campaign designed to highlight the impact of poor spectator behaviour in youth football.
Poor spectator behaviour is one of the biggest factors impacting enjoyment for young players and referees as they witness or receive abusive or threatening language and behaviour by parents on the touchline. The vast majority of grassroots matches are played in a positive and fun environment, but every weekend at least one player will probably have their experience ruined by the behaviour of a parent, coach or other adult on the sidelines.
At Berks & Bucks FA we believe that everyone in grassroots football should be able to participate in a positive and safe environment and that one match ruined is one too many. Everyone should be allowed to referee, coach and support their family members without fear of abuse or confrontation, and, above all, players should be cheered and supported while playing, be allowed to make mistakes and be allowed to learn from them. The players themselves are clear in their message: "LET US PLAY."
Each scenario in the video, and the language used, is based on real incidents which have been reported to Berks & Bucks FA over the past twelve months. This type of behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
The Let Us Play campaign will run throughout the season and alongside national FA initiatives such as the Play Safe Campaign. We urge our member Clubs, Leagues and referees to share it as widely as possible to ensure every parent in the County understands the impact of their behaviour and their responsibilities on the sidelines. Ultimately, we hope that this campaign will reduce the number of incidents of poor spectator behaviour in grassroots football and therefore reduce the number of times children have their football experience spoiled by the poor behaviour of grownups.
Graham Fisher, Safeguarding Manager at Berks & Bucks FA, said: “This campaign is a great reminder of how we should all behave at children’s football every week throughout the season. Children just want to play football and, as adults, it's our collective responsibility to make sure this can happen in safe, fun, and welcoming environments. Together, we must simply, let them play!”
We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the players, coaches, volunteers and parents at Abingdon Youth FC and St Edmunds FC who supported us with filming the video, along with eSports Media and Your Sport Swindon.
For more information about tackling poor behaviour in grassroots football, please contact Alastair Kay, Head of Governance.
For any queries regarding Safeguarding please contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer, Graham Fisher.
Alternatively, please visit our dedicated Discipline and Safeguarding pages which can be found below: