NRL Finals: Creating the Right Kind of Sporting Culture

August 29, 2017

With the 2017 NRL finals upon us, we’re reminded of the massive and dedicated sporting culture we are privileged to have here in Australia, and the team at CAP Security Services is excited to be attending NRL finals over the coming weeks at Suncorp Stadium and 1300Smiles Stadium. We love seeing all of you dedicated footy fans and the atmosphere you create at these events, as Aussies from all backgrounds come together to support their team.

Brisbane Broncos Fans showing support for their team at Suncorp. Image Source here

It’s good to have a bit of healthy competition in our lives and footy final time can be as much of a competition among spectators as it is among the players themselves. It seems the mention of your team, whether you’re flicking on the TV, scrolling through Facebook, or turning up to the stadium, can turn friends and family into temporary arch enemies. But it’s all just fun, of course! Getting into your team colours, deciding where to watch the game, putting on your footy tips and calling players by their nicknames like they’re old mates from school is all part of the fun, and that’s the sporting culture Australia is renowned for.

Unfortunately the term “sporting culture” can also come with negative, and occasionally violent, connotations. We would love for Australia to continue to be known for the right kind of sporting culture and it’s part of our job at CAP Security Services to keep sporting events safe.  The last thing we want to do is to run the risk of over-policing and spoiling the fun for those who are healthy competitors, but we’ve put together some thoughts for spectators to assist with avoiding violence or abusive behaviour at sporting events.

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CAP Security Crowd Control Team at the State of Origin

Know yourself, know your limits.

Everyone has their triggers, and knowing what they are means being prepared to think and respond rationally. There are times to respond to banter and times to walk away. If it’s no longer fun, walk away.  If drinking alcohol can change your personality, consider limiting your drinks to just one or two.

Smile for 50,000 cameras.

Once a upon a time, when someone committed a violent act at a sporting event, it may have only been captured by a few bystanders. Nowadays there are security cameras at every turn, and everyone has a smart phone. The first thing some people do when drama is imminent is pull out their phone and hit record. Remember to think before acting irrationally. Violence doesn’t capture the crowd, it’s captured by the crowd.

Don’t be a hero

If witnessing spectator violence, it is important to remember how quickly a fight between two people can lead to a brawl. That is how brawls are started after all. It is best not to get involved, stay out of harm’s way and avoid triggering more participants. The first thing we ask is that you call for help immediately as there will always be security close by. Discouraging others, including your friends, from getting involved will also help. The fewer people who are involved, the easier a fight is to break up and the quicker everyone can return to enjoying the game.

Learn to let it go

One of life’s great lessons is learning to let go. Anyone who has been subject to antagonising behaviour will have learned this lesson quickly. Unfortunately, everyone encounters ‘bullies’, from kindergarten right through to the workplace, and a person’s best response is usually indicative of their environment.  At a sporting event, why spoil a good time and money well spent on tickets because of a person or people you will never see again?  Give your attention to your team! They deserve your support and attention more, and have worked hard to earn it unlike the person antagonising you.  Don’t let others dictate your experience. If needed, approach the closest security guard for assistance.

Think of others that are affected  

Something to remember is that every new rule, restriction or policy implemented at a venue has been put in place due to past incidents and statistics.  Examples include alcohol restrictions, age restrictions, and the level of security and policing in place to determine what is considered acceptable behaviour.  Each time violence or other negative incidents occur, it’s contributing to those statistics and putting venues at risk of stricter policies with zero tolerance and over-policing.  It may sound exaggerated, but one person’s behaviour can impact on the experiences of not only those at the same game, but those attending future games.  It is easy to reminisce about the days when security was slacker at sporting events, but to consider the repeated incidents that led to the current measures in place, the reasoning becomes clear.

Next time you’re at any sort of sporting event, i.e. the NRL finals, keep these thoughts in mind so you can assist us in creating the right sporting culture, where violent and abusive behaviour is irradiated for all spectators. Finally, CAP Security would like to wish everyone a happy NRL finals season!

As well as the NRL finals, we’re preparing for some other major events coming up in October, including Monster Jam at QSAC on the 7th, Midnight Oil at TECC, Townsville, on the 10th, the Bledisloe Cup at Suncorp Stadium on the 21st and the Rugby League World Cup at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville, on the 28th.

For more information on our security services visit our website, call our Brisbane office on (07) 3275 7777, or Townsville office on (07) 4723 2000.