AS A mother I am delighted that my three children are involved in various sports, not only because of the obvious health benefits, but also for the teamwork, sportsmanship and friendships that come from training and playing with others.
The family, including my husband, son 14, daughter 12 and grandparents, take great enjoyment from watching our eldest son playing for Melrose Wasps on a Saturday afternoon.
However, there is one thing that spoils that enjoyment of the game and that is the awful language that is used both towards and about the Wasps players by opposition supporters.
Sadly this was the case at recent Games against Hawick PSA, Jed Thistle and Kelso Harlequins.
Although I can completely appreciate that people are passionate about the game, I can’t understand the need that some people have to shout abuse at boys that are anything from 15 to 18 years of age.
Have values slipped so much that adults who behave in such an aggressive, negative manner towards young people think that it is acceptable to do so?
This kind of behaviour leads to a bad atmosphere and makes others feel very uncomfortable. However, it is the players I feel sorry for, as they dedicate themselves to the game, turning up for training midweek and giving up their Saturdays to play for their club. All they want is to be part of a good, fair game of rugby. They shouldn’t have to put up with aggressive, intimidating behaviour from adults.
These so-called supporters of rugby should remember and embrace the standards of Bill McLaren, a gentleman and true sportsman, passionate about the game of rugby but always fair, never biased and most certainly never abusive to anyone.
As parents we always like to see our own children and their friends and teammates do well, however we should still be able to appreciate the skills of others regardless of who they are playing for.
If more people did this then rugby would be the winner. As it stands at the moment, rugby is losing out.
To those who stand and shout abuse at our youngsters, all I have to say is shame on you.