Jennie's Journey

Display of poor sportsmanship has no place at swim meets

This week I had the experience of traveling to another swimming pool with my son for a swim meet and observed something that unnerved me.

The Grandview Neptunes is a small team. They are accustomed to swimming in a 40-yard pool but do very well in the 50-meter pools when faced with the competition.

This week, I witnessed something I have never seen at any of the more than 10 meets I have been to this year.

I looked into the pool during a relay event and saw two boys from the opposing team stop in the middle of their event to slap each other a high-five.

These two boys were far ahead of all the Neptunes.

It bothered me because I wondered what message these boys were sending to their opponents.

Hey! Look at us! We're so good, we can stop in the middle of our event and still smoke you?

Whatever the message was, I did not, and still cannot, understand the purpose of this behavior.

The purpose of the local swim meets is to create a positive environment in which the children of our communities can participate in a fun, safe activity.

I did not view this as a positive. I can't think this was positive in any way.

Yet, those watching and cheering for the opposing team, including the parents, could be heard clapping and cheering when these two boys performed this act of poor sportsmanship.

If indeed this was not intended as a display of braggadocio, perhaps the coaches and parents of the boys should think about how it might be interpreted. From where I was standing, the action of the two swimmers turned what should have been a positive experience into a night where our youngsters not only lost the meet, but had their noses rubbed in it.

If the tables were turned, I would never condone such conduct from my child.


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