'This is not the World Cup' – Leading Limerick rugby school put up signs to warn against bad sideline behaviour – Independent.ie

Signs have been erected at the St Munchin's grounds calling on spectators to show respect to players, coaches and referees.
Signs have been erected at the St Munchin’s grounds calling on spectators to show respect to players, coaches and referees.

Cian Tracey

St Munchin’s College have this morning revealed a new initiative that encourages parents and supporters of their school teams to be considerate whilst watching on from the sidelines.

Several signs have been erected across the different playing pitches in the Limerick-based school as a reminder of the proper code of conduct.

Munchin’s, who have produced several Ireland international rugby players including the likes of Keith Wood, Anthony Foley, Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Jerry Flannery and Donnacha Ryan, are hoping that their new signs will lead to players and coaches of both teams as well as the referees being fully respected. 

“The signs are reminders, refreshers of sorts, for us all,” principal David Quilter said.

“We don’t want to leave behind our passion for sport but we can never lose sight of the respect we owe to our players, the opposition and of course the referee, which is a defining quality of our sport.

“Bad sideline behaviour is typically rooted in good intention, fuelled by emotion, unsupported by education, and has a negative impact on the development environment we’re trying to deliberately create here in St Munchin’s.

“Bad sideline behaviour, if not addressed will have a crushing effect on youth sports. It is distracting to players, detracting from their ability to play the game, and ultimately sucks the fun from the game.

“In St Munchins, as in so many schools across the nation, we understand the value of sport in keeping teenagers level headed at a difficult but beautiful period in their life.”

The official unveiling of the new signs took place this morning with Munchin’s marking the occasion by playing against two South African rugby touring teams with former international referee George Clancy and the recently retired John Lacey overseeing both games, as well as several Munster players in attendance.

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