Having taken our team to their latest netball match this week, which we were unlucky to lose 7-6 having led up to the last quarter, I have been reflecting on the impact of football role models on the behaviour of primary aged children. When I was their age I remember people like Gary Lineker, Mark Hughes, Terry Butcher etc. who, although not always perfect off the pitch, at least could be looked at in a positive light when they were performing for their club or country.
It is clear that children in 2019 still hold professional footballers in high regard, but I struggle to spot many who could be seen as positive role models in terms of their behaviour on the pitch. This was illustrated clearly again last weekend with the terrible behaviour of the Chelsea goalkeeper at the cup final. Whether or not that player agreed with the manager's decision, the fact that he did not do what he was asked to do sends out such a terrible message to our children. I am sad to say that we sometimes see the impact of this in the way that some of our children react in sporting environments. I hope that if we asked our children at Wookey they would all say that the goalkeeper was wrong, but I am not 100% sure. I am pleased though that 'The Wookey Way' is something we see from the vast majority of our children the vast majority of the time, but I do worry about the lack of footballing heroes that our children have.
Hopefully our trip to Bath Netball on Friday this week will help show our children that not all elite sports men and women set them a bad example, and maybe they will come away from the experience with some new sporting heroes!