Let them play or watch them walk away.

It’s a message that should be front of mind for us all as we gear up for an exciting new season of winter community sport, particularly when it comes to volunteers, match officials and young participants. Declining numbers in those areas is not unique to our region – or any particular sport – but it is a reason for concern. 

Last year, GippSport’s Gippsland Community Sport Census found that community sport was finding it difficult to retain and recruit new volunteers, as well as umpires and referees. When it comes to youth participation, the reflexive response is often to blame technology as the main cause of decline, but local research tells us it’s more complicated. 

The Latrobe Health Assembly-funded Increasing Access to Sport project identified a range of barriers at play, including time constraints, travel requirements and participation costs. Importantly, though, it found the community sporting club environment was highly influential in youth participation and retention. Social and performance-related pressures figured heavily in the reasons why young people quit sport and data shows that once they disengage, it’s incredibly difficult to get them back. 

The good news is we can do something about it. The even better news is one key shift in mentality could turn the tide for all three cohorts – letting people play. Incidents of poor sideline behaviour have been reported in Gippsland over the past 12 months, with coaches, parents and supporters among those to have crossed the line and made community sport less enjoyable and rewarding for participants and volunteers.

GippSport is highlighting this issue with a new campaign which shares stories and insights from members of the local sports community, particularly young people.

The Let Us Play campaign aims to encourage a more positive and safe local sport environment for everyone, regardless of ability, needs and motivations.

On this page you will find a range of promotional materials and resources to help Gippsland sporting clubs, leagues and associations provide a welcoming, inclusive, safe and rewarding community sporting experience for everyone.

So this season, let’s remember, it’s not the Olympics, it’s not the World Cup, it’s not the AFL, it’s community sport. Let them play.

Watch and Share

We interviewed more than 20 Gippsland players, coaches and match officials to capture their experiences and perspectives on a range of issues related to community sport. Throughout the 2023 winter sports season, we will be uploading an assortment of videos, which we encourage you to share through your personal and club/league/association channels to help ensure as many members of our sports community as possible can hear and learn from these stories.


Over the coming months, we will be developing a suite of resources to help members of our community take action to address issues impacting participation in sport, particularly among young people. Click on the items below to download and utilise them at your club and among your networks and community.

Club Script

Sharing the message on your social media, at club events and meeeting are an easy way to remind people about appropriate behaviour and your club or association’s expectations. Below is a sample script you can adapt for your own needs. 

Let Us Play Script

Click Here to download the PDF for our Let Us Play Script for Clubs.

Tips Sheets

Tips for Coaches

Click Here to download the PDF for Coaches Tips to deal with Poor Sideline Behaviour

Tips for Club Committees

Click Here to download the PDF For Clubs Committees Tips for Ensuring Healthy Sideline Behaviour

Tips for Parents

Click Here to download the PDF for Parents and Supporters Tips for Providing Healthy Sideline Behaviour



Poster: Cena Football Umpire

Click the Image to download the PDF poster of Cena Football Umpire


Poster: Sienna Netballer

Click the Image to download the PDF poster of Sienna Netballer


Poster: Jackson Soccer Referee

Click the Image to download the PDF poster of Jackson Soccer Referee


Poster: Dan Umpire

Click the Image to download the PDF poster of Dan Umpire


Poster: Tew Footy Player

Click Image to download the PDF poster of Tew Footy Player


Poster: Tew Footy Player

Click the Image to download the PDF poster of Tew Footy Player


Poster: Liesl Basketball

Click the Image to download the PDF poster of Liesl Basketball

TV Screen Artwork

Need more information?

GippSport acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work, The Bunurong Peoples, Gunaikurnai Peoples and other traditional owner groups of the Gippsland/East Gippsland Region.  We recognise their ongoing connection to the land, waters and community, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and the ongoing living culture of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.

GippSport is committed to making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and working in solidarity towards reconciliation.

GippSport – Gippsland Sports Assembly Inc.
PO Box 741, Traralgon, VIC, Australia 3844
Traralgon Sports Stadium, Catterick Cres, Traralgon