calms you down! | Journalism


In a report published last week, it was noted that a high percentage of junior hockey referees withdraw due to the aggressiveness of spectators and the pressure they experienced during matches.

Natalie Collard

Natalie Collard

A young referee came under attack on Sunday at Dollard-des-Ormeaux. He was punched in the face by his grandfather who was watching a football match between two teenage teams. A parent intervened in the audience to subdue the attacker.

Posted at 5:00 am

The scene was filmed and spread in the media and social networks, and after twenty-four hours, the grandfather publicly apologized, which is the least of the circumstances.

This is not an isolated event. The world of amateur sports is always the scene of such events.

In fact, the aggression and violence experienced by referees in amateur sports is so widespread that a team from the University of Laval’s Department of Physical Education has documented this scourge. In a report entitled The experiences of young Quebec officials, which was announced last year, the authors interviewed 27 young referees to ask them questions about their work. Essentially, the research concluded that aggression is “part of the job” and that young adults built a shell to deal with the problematic behaviors of coaches and parents who attend the game. There is even talk of “normalizing violence”.

This phenomenon was also addressed in the report Hockey, our passion From the Quebec Hockey Development Committee announced last week. It is noteworthy that a high percentage of referees leave the study because of the aggression and stress they suffer from.

Among the recommendations, the report’s authors suggest installing cameras in yards, spreading awareness campaigns and promoting sportsmanship.

The education minister responsible for the status of women, Isabelle Charest, acknowledges the problem. Suggest to update a file sportsmanship charterIt dates back to the 1980s which is a good idea but the awareness campaign should extend to society as a whole.

Because aggressiveness and verbal abuse transcend the boundaries of the mathematical realm, as our readers’ comments (see Screen 3) demonstrate. Talk about it to all those whose work includes customer service: restaurants, retail, health … Last year, Prime Minister François Legault, on his Facebook page, challenged Quebecers about it, noting that he had received many testimonies from Workers experiencing frustration and frustration. aggressive population.

Even the Joint Association for Occupational Health and Safety (APSAPP) warned its members during the pandemic: “In the current context, it is possible that employees will deal more with aggressive clients…”. The numerous posters urging people to remain calm in medical waiting rooms as well as in some businesses or government services are there to attest to the extent of the problem.

And we’re not even talking about the aggressiveness on social networks that has become a real disaster. Health experts predicted this: The COVID-19 pandemic will be accompanied by another epidemic, mental health. we are here. Last March, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted a 25% increase in cases of anxiety and depression globally. Behind the bouts of aggression and anger is the extreme fatigue associated with the context of the past two years. And the financial pressures caused by inflation are not helping matters.

People are on the edge of the abyss. The population is clearly not sufficiently equipped to deal with this silent epidemic.

Yes, the federal and provincial governments offer various resources to point to when things go wrong. But before talking about resources or access to services, which is still an issue, we still have to realize that things are not going well.

This is a large public health file that confirmed the end of health measures this week. It’s time to launch a national awareness campaign that will encourage people to pay more attention to their mental health, and remind them that there are ways to take care of it on a daily basis. He explained to them the links between stress, fatigue and aggression.

There is still a lot of education to be done in this field.

Education is essential if we are to avoid the slippage that forces us to apologize in the public square the next day. Until then, do we breathe through our noses?

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