Tuesday, 9 March 2010 3:44 PM
McDonald’s Australia recently kicked off its nationwide Player Escort Competition designed to encourage sportsmanship values in children, and provide 10 lucky 6-10 year olds with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on the field with the Australian team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The announcement coincided with new research, which revealed the majority of parents in Victoria (67%) believe sportsmanship values are essential life-skills, which should be taught from a young age.
The location of the photo shoot for the promotion was recently held at Bob Jane Stadium, with a selection of South Melbourne FC junior players in attendance. Cameron Wood, Collingwood Football Player was at Bob Jane Stadium to help launch the competition. He said: “Whatever sport you’re into, learning to be a ‘good sport’ – teamwork, winning and losing with good grace, communication, social interaction – not only make playing more enjoyable, but are essential life-skills. It’s great to see a competition which actively promotes and encourages these values.”
To help encourage children to be ‘good sports’, Ange Dallas, South Melbourne FC Director of Football, developed these top five tips for parents as part of the McDonald’s Sportsmanship promotion:
- Call out words of encouragement such as “Great play!” or “Nice job!” Yelling negative comments or scowling from the sidelines is not good sportsmanship. Provide praise not only for your child, but their teammates and opponents.
- Explain the concept of teamwork and reinforce the importance of all team members working together to form a stronger and more effective team.
- Try not to openly berate, tease or demean athletes, coaches or referees in any environment, be it while watching TV or attending a sporting event.
- Focus on the effort, not the mistakes. Mistakes will happen, and games will be lost. Use it as a learning experience and offer support and assistance during practice before the next game.
- Ultimately, we foster good sportsmanship when we encourage children to just have fun and enjoy the game, whether they win or lose
Head of Marketing, Corporate Sales and Events, George Triantos speaking to smfc.com.au commented “We are delighted to be involved with the McDonald’s Player Escort Competition which promotes sportsmanship, and provides another example of the social role our club plays in wider community.