14 October 2011
Sports stars say play it fair
Despite a Rugby World Cup semi-final and FIFA World Cup qualifying games on their minds, Wallabies David Pocock and Adam Ashley-Cooper, and Socceroos captain Lucas Neill and Matildas player Kyah Simon have stressed the importance of safe, fair and inclusive sport in a series of audio announcements for Play by the Rules – a program jointly supported by federal and state/territory governments.
In the audio messages, Australian Wallabies rugby player David Pocock says that when it comes to sport ". . . showing respect and treating everyone fairly is just as important as the game itself", while his team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper stresses the importance to ". . . play fair and keep your cool, on and off the field" because ". . . everyone has a better time when we play by the rules".
Matildas Australian women's soccer team representative Kyah Simon says "No matter who you are, or where you're from, there's just no place in sport for intolerance, racism, sexism or discrimination of any kind".
While her Socceroos counter-part Lucas Neill states that "Being a good sportsman and showing good sportsmanship is all about playing it tough, but playing it fair. When you go out into any game it's important that you not only respect the referee, but you abide by the rules."
Play by the Rules Co-chair and federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Helen Szoke, said: "Play by the Rules is a unique program which provides free information, resources, online training and promotional campaigns aimed at ensuring everyone involved in sport can do so in an enjoyable, safe environment, free from discrimination, harassment or bullying".
Fellow Co-chair Craig Martin, Executive Director, Sport & Recreation Tasmania (Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts), added: "Our sporting heroes are sometimes in the news for the wrong reasons, so it's important that we recognise valuable voluntary contributions such as these, which make an important contribution in sending the right messages to grassroots sporting participants".
Both Co-chairs thanked David, Adam, Lucas and Kyah for their contributions and wished the Wallabies, Socceroos and Matildas all the best in their current campaigns.