Written by Harun Marušić – BRAVO

Sport is an integral part of every culture and has its own separate sports culture. Some say that sport is the most important secondary thing in their life, while others say that sport is their whole life, and you also have those who don’t like it. Whichever of these groups you belong to, you will agree that sport positively impacts human health, both physically and mentally.

Every responsible person should recognise, understand and react to violence, problems, discrimination, abuse, and all those things that extend through every part of our society.

We aim to help people, volunteers, trainers, and everyone else acquire the ability I mentioned above.

Now, you will read about a real-life story from one of Sarajevo’s jiu-jitsu clubs. Firstly, let’s define Brazilian jiu-jitsu – it was created as a movement that aimed to reduce violence in all areas of life, especially in sports, through self-defence techniques and pitting the opposing force against oneself. The sport consists of learning techniques and direct combat between two fighters.

One club in Sarajevo wanted to continue the original mission of the sport, and based on that, they told all members of the club to follow one rule: they must look out for each other as brothers and sisters. At the beginning they presented all transparently and publicly about their members, including their life stories, social, economic status and family. However, that did not have a positive effect on the members, or their environment in general, especially because of those who had some issues. When one of the trainers noticed that, he called a meeting where he presented his point of view on the situation among members and proposed small but significant change. From that day on, the method of paying training membership fees was not direct and public as before. Instead, they put a plastic box in the rooms where they train and every month each of the fighters would put an envelope in that box no one knew how much anyone gave, only the coach. After that, the coach noticed that the team started to understand how much these things can cause disrespect towards colleagues without any merit. This was just one story that showed a positive example.

Why do we need respect in sports? Below, you can find some statistical information related to sports discrimination and its impact on all of us, especially young people.

The most serious issues facing community sports today are:

  • harassment – 38%;
  • intolerance/racism – 29%;
  • lack of fair play – 21%;
  • other – 12%.

And who is most responsible for improving sportsmanship?

  • Coaches – 95%;
  • teachers – 65%;
  • parents – 55%.

Did you know that over 70% of children drop out of organised sports by the age of 13? This is why we need more respect for the sport.

As we can see, everyone has a certain amount of responsibility in this matter. Parents play a significant role in raising and preparing a child for sports participation and motivating them during sports. Some clubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina organise training and education for parents, where they organise educational and exciting workshops to raise awareness among parents.

They should help define standards of behaviour for all parents and create a more supportive, safe, and respectful environment for all involved. Parents want to do a great job supporting their children. Education and training provide them with tools to create and maintain a safe sports environment.

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