January 4, 2013
From: John Lecky President, British Columbia Rugby Union
Re: An Open Letter to the B.C. Rugby Community
I trust you all enjoyed the holiday season with family and friends and our approaching the New Year refreshed and optimistic.
As we enter into the spring portion of the season I thought it would be timely to address an issue paramount to our game.
Sitting in the position of President of the Union I am afforded the opportunity to meet and speak with many people from all areas of the B.C. Rugby community spectrum. I am continually impressed and re-invigorated to hear many Parents espouse the virtues of our game and the inherent level of respect shown towards team mates, opposing team members and particularly Match Officials when compared to other team sports.
If we pause and reflect for a moment, those were most likely the same timeless virtues which at one time attracted and galvanized your respect and appreciation for the game we all love.
Conversely and however incremental, increasingly, we are witnessing in our game a number of instances of Match Official abuse both on and off the field. Without reservation, a reasonable person would conclude this behaviour to be unacceptable and unbecoming to the reputation of our game and ultimately, a poor reflection on you and me.
To be crystal clear, Match Officials are an integral component of our game and collectively each and every one of us is obligated to show them the respect and courtesy warranted; simply put, without the Match Officials, we have no Match.
I have no doubt a Match Official approaches each game with the intent of putting forward their best effort; like many of us who do and did play, that was our intent also. From a personal perspective many years ago I aspired to play the perfect game. Regrettably, I donít ever recall (some would say never came remotely close!) playing that elusive perfect game; which if I am indicative of most who play or played, is it fair of us to always expect a perfect performance from our Match Officials?
This insidious erosion of discipline displayed towards Match Officials must be addressed by you and me in several ways. With that said, in the event of documented Match Official abuse from the field, the sideline or in the clubhouse, please be mindful the B.C. Rugby Union Discipline Committee has my renewed and unwavering support to be definitive, assertive and memorable if the issue of Match Official abuse arises going forward.
Entering into the 2nd half of the season I am also asking for your help; I am asking if you, personally can demonstrate a bit more discipline around the clubhouse, on the field and along the sidelines. If each and every one of us endeavours to be more accountable for our actions, the actions of our club mates
and our club supporters, collectively we will realize a positive shift in the culture surrounding our great game.
Finally, be a leader and ensure you, your team mates and club supporters energies are further focused in the areas which will generate the best outcomes around the game. If you can do this win or lose, you will walk off the field or into the clubhouse proud of your association with your team mates, your club supporters and the game itself.
Counting on you and wishing you the very best on and off the field for the season ahead!
CC: British Columbia Rugby Union Board of Directors