Fair Play: Perverts have no place in sports

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's March 4 edition)
FOR the second time this week, another coach landed in the news but not in the sports pages, accused of doing something that we can all live without.

Days after a basketball coach was slapped with child abuse charges for insulting a kid, a baseball coach was accused of molesting an 11-year-old.

Worse, this incident allegedly happened in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association, which just ended in Balamban.

The incident is fresh, so whether it's true or not is for the police to find out. But this is alarming as it happened in a Department of Education meet, when supervision of kids is crucial.

In a typical regional meet, athletes--whose ages usually ranges from 11 to 17--are typically asked to be at the venue days before the opening ceremony and spend at least a week away from parents.

They only have their coaches and delegation officials to supervise them and parents hope that they are under the proper guidance. Coaches and athletes stay in one room and there should be any questions of impropriety in such setting. Trust is of utmost important.

This incident, though isolated, will shatter that and even if it isn’t true, coaches in DepEd meets have been tainted by a disgusting accusation against one of them.

Athletes sometimes listen more to their coaches than their classroom teachers as they decide whether they get to play or not, hence this alleged abuse of authority stinks to the highest level and should not happen again.

Worse, there’s the coming Palarong Pambansa in May, when kids and coaches stay up to two weeks in a similar setting. Of course, safeguards to avoid a similar incidence is expected to be put up and such safeguards too could hamper the team’s efficiency.

One safeguard could be to prevent single interaction by a coach and an athlete, but sometimes, coaches have to single out players to talk to them away from the teammates; Would you criticize one in front of the whole team?

I thought the disgusting incident involving a karatedo coach would be the last time something like this would prop up in the Cebu sports scene. But I hope this would be the last one.

Perverts have no place in sports and wolves in coaches clothing have no right to guide kids.

Sadly, things are revealed too late.



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