Kids’ Sports – The Photo That Touched A Nerve and Went Viral

kids sports viral photo

You’ll have to excuse me for a wee minute, I’m in shock.

I posted the photo above on the Hello Sydney Kids Facebook page last Saturday afternoon, and it’s gone totally viral.

Parents’ behaviour at children’s sports has clearly touched a nerve!

The image has been shared almost 12,000 times in less than five days. It’s been seen by over 1.3 million people and there are more than 500 comments so far.

I was down at Harbord, sitting on the sidelines watching the U10s rugby league when I saw the sign. I loved it for that final sentiment:

Before you complain, have you volunteered yet?

Our family’s life has been so enriched by our local rugby league club, and it’s all thanks to the fantastic volunteers, especially the coaches. Man, they are legends.

20140719 U8s rugby league_0047

You’ll find myself and Teen19 and hubby manning the BBQ or serving in the canteen, but those coaches and the managers are the ones who do the real heavy lifting.

Anyway, I have rarely seen bad behaviour in all my 12-years-and-counting on the sidelines. There ae certainly some exuberant parents, yelling advice to the kids… not me, though… I say let the kids get on with it, they’ve got their coach to help them and I don’t want to distract them.

I do the odd wolf whistle after a try , but that’s it.

Most folks behave OK.  Still, this photo has hit a nerve for sure.

Some of the comments on the Facebook post include:

So sad that there even has to even have a signhumanity is lost.   


Luv this sign! Shld b at every game including the soccer, NRL, AFL, and possibly the golf (undecided on the last one)!!   


Trouble is the parents that are going off are also illiterate.  

Greg – not sitting on the fence!

Should be compulsory at every suburban ground.



Great idea. A substitute for common sense.


I can never understand why spectators at games constantly yell at the players, telling them what to do.I sometimes think they probably were never able to do it themselves.


Yeah straight up, when we coached n managed back in Taupo for 4 years man some parents drove us nuts, some parents need to chill.


But there are plenty of hopeful comments too:

I use to coach..and a soccer parent over 15 yrs..and a few times there was a parent who was highly offensive..they were isolated and challenged a lot by every parent attending..even as far as each of us apologizing to the opposing team for their behaviour.


Volunteers of any organisation are awesome.  


kids sports viral photo 2

So, I hope you and your kids have not seen abusive behaviour at sports matches, and I hope that if you are a coach or a referee, you know that you are very much appreciated.

I’m going to be watching Teen16 play rugby union this weekend, and Paul will be at the rugby league U10s match.

And we won’t be yelling!  Nor abusing the ref!

Hope you and the kids enjoy the footy, the netball, the basketball or the soccer – whatever game is played.

And here’s to the volunteers. My kids have gained SO MUCH from your efforts.

Respect to you all.

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  1. This is all so crazy- we don’t have the signs at our games (not much agro in the Form II F team soccer…) and really most people always perfectly behaved. But I have heard the stories – bananas – when did everyone get so competitive – you can leave me out of all of that – happy in my own bubble. Hope all back on track for you and family soon. xxxx

  2. Wow! I can’t believe the response you got from that photo. Our little one is into cricket so we don’t have aggressive behavior on the cricket pitch. Although, my husband is the coach and we also don’t get any volunteers. Half the time the parents don’t even manage to make it back to the Saturday game to pick the kids up on time!!!
    Good on you for sharing.
    Gourmet Getaways

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