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Bad Sports...

Bad Sports...

As CEO of Netball North Harbour and Regional Manager for Netball North overseeing 20,000 netballers I do not support or condone bad sideline behaviour.
Recently however I had to reign in all my gut instincts not to become angered with an appalling display of bad sportsmanship by a group of adults.
I watched our North Harbour Under 15 team play a Waikato team at a nationwide tournament hosted here at AMI Netball North Harbour with 105 visiting teams and thousands of spectators on a miserable rainy day.
If you have ever watched a game of netball on television you will know that the whistle is continually blown for obstruction under the goal. During this particular game however the whistle was not blown once under the post allowing all obstruction and contact at the Harbour attack end.
At the defense end of the court however the Harbour umpire (who was doing a very proficient job) was abused by both spectators and players of the visiting team and who subsequently needed to be counseled post game as he was confused and upset at what had taken place on the court where he had no jurisdiction.
To our Harbour players, coaches and management’s credit the girls continued to hold their heads up and play their best. They lost. There was injury, frustration and tears in what amounted to be a game of two halves. Three cheers – yes… but one for the umpire!
As a sporting body we all support our umpires and officials who are after all volunteering their time. At North Harbour we provide the best Netball umpire development programme in the country. We work very hard to ensure performances are monitored; umpires receive constructive feedback and are continually up-skilled.
We invest considerable resources to provide a pathway for our umpires and officials to develop and reach the highest accreditation possible.
With this investment in mind it is very disappointing when this type of unacceptable behaviour occurs by others. Don’t we all have the same philosophy?
On one hand I witnessed grit and determination from a group of young athletes who knew they were going to lose a game. I witnessed their coaches, management and supporters continue to cheer them on and not react negatively to poor decisions. I was extremely proud of these girls and their parents for their sportsmanship and courage under fire.
On the other hand I witnessed obvious avoidance of the enforcement of rules by an adult umpire to benefit her team. Most disappointing of all I witnessed terrible sportsmanship as the visiting adults yelled and abused a young up-and-coming Northern umpire (who has been talent I’D’d by Netball New Zealand) in an attempt to stem his confidence and ability.
Gosh, its damn hard not to be incited with anger when you witness adults destroying their children’s sport with poor sportsmanship, bad behaviour and blatant cheating.
For further information contact:- Adele Lendich, CEO,
Netball North Harbour, Email: 

by Adele Lendich