Who can help?

“I truly believe that, outside a parent, a coach can have as much or more impact than anyone on a young person and with great power comes great responsibility.” Pat Rigsby, American fitness entrepreneur and author.

“A fraction of the kids you coach will go on to professional sporting success, but the vast majority of the kids you teach will go on to be mothers, fathers and partners.” Joe Eherman, a former NFL player and Founder of Coaching for America.

“Family violence is a big issue for every New Zealander not just those directly involved. It is something that each of us can do something about – looking out for our kids has to be your priority.” Jenny May Coffin, New Zealand sports broadcaster.

Coaches play an important role

Coaches play a key role in the lives of young people. Some international coaching programmes incorporate information on healthy relationships.

As a coach you could make it a priority to:

  • develop strong relationships with your athletes
  • be an adult they can trust and talk to
  • teach them about sportsmanship, fair play and winning with dignity
  • use respectful communication
  • avoid statements that normalise violence or reinforce gender stereotypes, like “you throw like a girl”
  • take action if you have concerns.

If you are a coach, consider taking part in “Coaching for Change” a no-cost and interactive online training that provides examples of how to recognise and address issues of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, teen dating violence and family violence. It can be found at www.menaspeacemakers.org/coachingforchange

“When I saw my mate yelling at his partner I decided to man up – I took him aside and said there’s got to be a better way. The good thing is he got help and we are still mates today.” Alfred Ngaro

“Jai looks to us as an example of what a strong relationship looks like. It’s important we get it right for him.” All Black and Chief Co-Captain Liam Messam

How team mates can help

Teams can be like families – if someone is using violence, everyone may be affected. It’s important not to ignore it.

If you’re worried about someone in your team, take it seriously and start a conversation.

We know from research that people living with family violence want the violence to stop and that they want help from friends, colleagues, team mates and family first. These people are often the first to know that something is not right at home.

Being able to offer support is an important first step. You don’t need to be a social worker to help someone.

For more ideas on what to say or do – have a look on our website www.areyouok.org.nz or in our How can you Help? brochure from the resources section of the website.