Victoria to kick sideline violence

The Victorian Government will launch a campaign to eradicate sideline violence from junior sports following an increase in the number of incidents involving the bad behaviour of parents and coaches on the sidelines.

Encourage the Kids, Support the Game campaign was launched at a junior under-10s Australian Rules Football preliminary final in Bulleen.

“The Encourage the Kids, Support the Game campaign is designed to stamp out bad behaviour from parents, from officials, from all spectators in our junior sport," said Sport and Recreation Minister James Merlino. 

“It’s a natural reaction for spectators to get passionate when they’re supporting their team but we’re urging everyone involved in junior sport to encourage from the sidelines, not shout abuse.

“We should not be tolerating situations where participants feel uncomfortable or threatened due to discriminatory or harassing behaviour by anyone. Bad spectator behaviour ultimately discourages juniors from playing sport, which is certainly a situation we want to avoid.”

The State Government has contributed $150,000 to the initiative with an additional $100,000 from VicHealth.

Sports Minister James Merlino said a code of conduct would be brought in for spectators to curb violent outbursts.

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