Our take: Coaches given a sacred trust not to be abused

Behind the bench: There is no place for coach rage, those who step over the line should be dismissed

You may not recognize the name Martin Tremblay, but you probably remember his claim to fame.

Tremblay is the Vancouver peewee hockey coach arrested last year for deliberately tripping a pre-teen opposing player in a handshake line-up, hurting the child’s wrist enough that he required a cast.

Tremblay’s behaviour is hardly typical of the type of person coaching hockey and other sports in our community.

But as the recent incident at Kerry Park demonstrated, coach rage is not something completely foreign to Cowichan’s rinks, courts and fields.

And it should be. It must be.

It starts with the people in charge: the volunteers running the league, the parents paying the bills and the umbrella associations overseeing sport at a provincial and national level.

These are the people who must cultivate a culture of zero-tolerance for this kind of behaviour, a culture that insists coaches behave like role models or they have no place being on the sideline, or behind the bench.

The price for stepping over that line should be dismissal.

There are all kinds of reasons for being frustrated with missed calls. Few justify anger and certainly none justify verbal or physical abuse of players or officials — men, women and children who, by and large, are doing the best they can to make the game fair and fun.

Judge Patrick Chen gave Tremblay 15 days in a correctional facility as “a signal to other parents heavily involved in the sporting activities of their children that they must be seen as models of good and acceptable behaviour.”

He’s got it right. Coaches are given a trust. Their job is not to win games. Their job is to instill values like teamwork, effort, sportsmanship and fair play.

Their value is not measured on any scoreboard, but in the number of solid adult citizens they help produce for the community.

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