MPJFL Keep Your Cool – Spirit of Football Round

Monday, June 02, 2014

The first ever 'Keep Your Cool' Round, which was held on Sunday (May 25) in the MPJFL, has been labelled a huge success.  The Day was warmly received and enjoyed by everyone involved across 14 Clubs, 2500 players (aged between 9 and 16), 105 Teams, 70+ umpires, 1500+ Volunteers and 2500+ parents and spectators.

Players, officials, coaches and umpires across the league donned blue armbands and headbands as goal umpires waved blue flags to reinforce the message that football is for fun.

Every home club got into the spirit of the day with decorations and signs promoting the Keep Your Cool philosophy around their canteens, in coaches’ boxes and change rooms.

Coaches addressed players, parents and spectators before each match on the importance of good sportsmanship, fair play and being good role models.  Each coach also selected a player from the opposing team who exemplified good sportsmanship to receive the Keep your Cool medal after the game.  

Lenny Hayes, St Kilda star and Keep Your Cool ambassador made the day very special by coming along to the Pearcedale/Baxter ground to present medals, address players and meet the kids.  “It was fantastic to see Lenny interacting with the kids and playing kick to kick.  He is a perfect role model and ambassador for Keep Your Cool, he exemplifies fair play and good sportsmanship”.

Keep Your Cool Chair Wendy Hanrahan described the support and acceptance of the campaign by the clubs as phenomenal. "The clubs have really embraced the concept and we have had tremendous examples being feed back to us of how the message is having an impact. Unacceptable behaviour is being dealt with quickly and what an absolute joy it is to watch kids having fun and enjoying this great game".

League President Andrew Souter has announced that the round will be an annual event on the league fixture and will look to build on activities around it. He also stated that the League will continue to work closely with KYC to roll out education programs within the clubs throughout the year.

Keep Your Cool was created in late 2013 to positively impact the culture of junior football by partnering with local clubs, the league, umpires and AFL South East to change attitudes on both sides of the fence to keep kids safe on the field, having fun and ultimately to keep kids playing football.

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