Chasing away volunteers

Sportsmanship is an aspiration that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. Teaching kids the value of good sportsmanship goes a long way in shaping their characters.

If this is true, then, why are our “supposed” management role models making volunteers not want to be leaders? Why is it that a child’s sport, requiring coaches are now insisting assistant coaches pay to be admitted to an event where minor-age children need supervised, monitored and taught what is right and wrong? That is what is now being asked by Rambler football coaches towards their Rambler cheerleader assistant coaches.

Are our daughters of less value than our sons? When an insurance contract specifically says cheerleaders coverage is free, why are we asked to pay a portion of the policy?

In today’s society where you are finding less and less individuals wanting to undertake and follow through on volunteer leadership roles, how can something as minute as requiring an entrance fee for coaches be measured against the many hours of time that is put in to developing a child’s character, introducing them to the virtues of team spirit and teaching them to be humble in victory and optimistic in defeat?

Not only are our volunteer assistant coaches being asked to pay for entering the game after dozens of hours per week are given freely, but now the cheerleaders families are now being asked to receive only $250 for an entire season’s worth of volunteer hours – dozens and dozens of hours – to manage the Ramblers football concession stand. This is time when parents forfeit watching their child on the field to help offer a service to all attending and have in the past been able to raise funds to defray cheerleading costs.

Sportsmanship is a concept that implies adherence to the rules and regulations of a sport, and the following of proper sports etiquette. There have been many advocates of good sportsmanship over the years and there are plenty of quotes that have been attributed to them. Some of these quotes inspire us, some discourage us, some make us thoughtful while some quotes are just plain farcical.

Please put value on your volunteers whether they be a volunteer in sport, education or serving the less fortunate!

Mary Sprouse