Attitudes in sport need to change

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Pat Cronin Foundation Round  

Attitudes in professional sport need to change

In the not-so-distant past, punch-ups were part of the attraction for fans of professional footy.

And indeed, some punters still choose to venerate the days of apparently tougher men to whom the rules were somewhat of a distraction.

Let’s be frank. While those days are well past their use-by date, the attitude persists in 2022.      

Deliberately clocking a colleague rightly falls well foul of any workplace protocols for the rest of us as we go about our lives.

As an organisation working to end the Coward Punch, we believe that professional athletes should be held to the same standards as everyone else in their workplace environment.

It’s hard to overestimate the power of sport to influence the way our society behaves.

Simply put, good sport embodies rules and respect. The fact that people look to sports organisations at every level as leaders in the community underscores that potential.

Professional sportspeople are role models as much as they are athletes.

Public scrutiny comes with the turf (and the cash).         

For those who bemoan the “softening” of sport, the inherent physicality of a game such as Victoria’s beloved Aussie Rules means that the top players will continue to sweat rust and their feats leave the rest of us in awe on any day of the week. 

A change in attitude needs to happen, starting at the grassroots. 

And in a growing corner of the state, it already has! 

Largest-ever show of support for Pat Cronin Foundation round

In the largest show of support yet, more than 2,000 footballers and netballers from three Victorian leagues will wear yellow armbands when they take to the field in memory of Pat over three weekends this May.

A powerful reminder about the need to end violence on as well as off the field, the Northern Football Netball League, Essendon District Football League, and Bendigo Football Netball League are all joining forces with the foundation in special Pat Cronin rounds between May 14 and 28, 2022.

We believe that reaching out to young people, and particularly young men, at a community level will make the most difference as we continue to raise awareness about the dangers of social violence, including the Coward Punch. 

The expansion of the round to now encompass more than three leagues has been an astonishing journey, and one we’re working hard to grow.

The message of the day is respect for other people, and we’re asking all players to shake the hands of their opponents before and after each game as one simple gesture of this.

Please donate to the Foundation so that we can continue to provide our Be Wise presentations to schools and clubs everywhere.  

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