Anti- Bullying Week 12th to 16th November 2018 – Choose Respect.
The theme for Anti- bullying week this year is to “choose respect” over bullying. The message being put across is that bullying is a behavior choice. Children can set a positive example by choosing to respect one another other, Children can respectfully disagree without being hurtful or portraying bullying behavior.
Bullying is repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically and can take many forms including; physical assault, teasing, making threats, name calling, cyber bullying.
At Stortford Gymnastics we support a zero tolerance to bullying. We like to make sure everyone has the best experience and therefore we promote a friendly and happy environment. We will be marking awareness during Anti- bullying week by taking part in “Odd Socks Day” on 12th November. A fun and informal way to unite and spread awareness. Perhaps your school, organization or sports club will also get involved?
Are you being bullied in sports?
If your team mates make fun of you or try to upset you to put you off so that you don't want to take part in training sessions, that could be bullying if it keeps happening. It is important to try and trust your instincts as to whether it is bullying or something that is just a joke between friends. If it upsets you or it is become persistent then this could be bullying.
There are a number of types of bullying that can occur in sports clubs. You may experience name calling and verbal bullying where someone is being given cruel nicknames, taunted, threats and intimidation. A person may be subject to physical bullying which could be hitting, slapping, tripping and anything else that causes physical harm. We also hear about social bullying in sports where gossip occurs about others, leaving someone out or embarrassment in front of others.
What action you can take?
- • Speak to your parents or carer or an adult who you feel able to confide in
- • Ask your parents to contact your team coach and explain the situation
- • Keep a diary of what happens including dates, times and witnesses of the incident
- • Ask friends on the team to back up what you say if this is possible. Sometimes others may not want to get involved as they might be worried the bully will bully them.
Advice for parents
It can be difficult for a parent to tackle bullying in sports if they are concerned their child is going through something like this. Your first instinct may be to protect your child or get involved but that may not help your child in the long term. Signs to look for:
- • Has your child suddenly lost interest in the club/sport?
- • Has your child refused to attend or make excuses not to go, perhaps saying they feel unwell or they look anxious?
It is important to listen to your child and allow them to have a say in the action. Understand and respect their concerns and fears which are very real to them and need sensitivity. Agree a way forward with your child, and plan to meet with the coach as a united front. Speak to the coach, let them know you understand that banter can be high-spirited in sports but now it is becoming persistent it is damaging confidence and increasing anxiety. The coach should always be supportive and offer ways to help resolve the matter, restoring self -confidence and passion for the sport.