Conduct code backed
Wednesday, June 5

GEELONG junior football has welcomed a State Government crackdown on the so-called ``ugly parent syndrome''.

The Government yesterday announced plans to introduce a standard code of practice for spectators, players, officials and clubs in an effort to rid junior sport of the growing problem.

Premier Steve Bracks said the new package, User Friendly Clubs, would be unveiled next month to cover all sporting associations, but specifically junior sports.

Geelong Junior Football manager Ian Francis yesterday was supportive of its introduction.

``Creating awareness among players, clubs, coaches and supporters about appropriate conduct at our matches has been one of the major aims this season,'' he said.

``And such a move would only further help that cause, so we would be very supportive.

``So long as it's good for the kids, that's the main thing.''

The Government's move follows an alleged attack on a 13-year-old junior footballer in a suburban Melbourne league at the weekend by the father of an opposition player.

Geelong junior football has also borne the brunt of unsuitable behaviour on and off the field in recent seasons.

Mr Bracks said he had asked Sports Minister Justin Madden to develop a code of conduct to eliminate such behaviour.

The code will be sent to the parents of every child who plays sport in the state.

``That code of practice will become the code which will work to ensure that the ugly parent is eliminated from our sporting spectators in Victoria,'' the Mr Bracks said yesterday.

``We'll also have a significant advertising campaign, and we'll have sessions for coaches and officials to ensure that they can deal with this problem effectively, off and on the field.''

Mr Bracks said there would be financial incentives for clubs which implemented the code.

The money would come from a Commonwealth Games budget allocation for youth sports, but details had not yet been worked out.