Sideline parent hooligans warned to zip it on the pitch

Emma Watson, with her son James, 10, in the Costessey Sports Club Play Your Role video

Emma Watson, with her son James, 10, in the Play Your Role video promoting good behaviour on the sidelines at grassroots games - Credit: Apricot Films

Yobbo parents who yell at their kids from the sidelines have been told to keep it quiet in a new project launched by a city sports club. 

Costessey Sports Club's 'Play Your Role' video shares the detrimental impact of parents shouting at players during grassroots matches. 

Featuring a mum of a 10-year-old player for the U11s Eagles team, the video shows her struggling to play a FIFA video game while the Eagles team players shout instructions at her.

This then cuts to her being taught calmly by her son and receiving positive encouragement from his team-mates.

It is 18 months since the same team released a video revealing how intimidating behaviour from adults watching grassroots games makes them feel - and it's been viewed as far away as the US.

Dan Henry, volunteer coach of the Costessey Sports Club U9 Eagles team with his sons Elliot, nine (l

Costessey Sports Club chairman Dan Henry with his two sons pictured in 2020 - Credit: Dan Henry

Dan Henry, 42, chairman of Costessey Sports Club and coaches the U11s team, said: "We want players to play, coaches to coach and supporters to support. People can encourage them but they should let children play.

"A child can get really confused if one person tells them one thing and another adult tells them something different. They can find it overwhelming.

Most Read

"The video is about teaching adults that shouting instructions doesn't help someone."

He added he was proud of the team's video adding: "It is amazing that this video from a local club in suburban Norwich is going far and wide.

"It is incredibly important that children have supportive inclusive coaches and grassroots football is about helping youngsters become the best versions of themselves."

Costessey Sports Club U11s Eagles team

Costessey Sports Club U11s Eagles team - Credit: Costessey Sports Club

The club chairman said it was rare children progressed from community football clubs to professional players and grassroots clubs were "learning environments" for children.

He said that the issue of parents shouting instructions in games to children was common in all community clubs and not everyone was aware of the problems it caused.

Former Norwich City player Cedric Anselin in 'Reach Out' film for the Wellbeing Service in Norfolk a

Former Norwich City player Cedric Anselin - Credit: Wellbeing Service

Cedric Anselin, ex-Norwich City Football Club player and player-manager of Sheringham Football Club, said: "I don't agree with parents shouting at the sideline. It becomes a battle of voices. The main acts of the game are the kids who learn by making mistakes.

"People should always be positive and give the opportunity for a young person who is playing to have a voice."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter