Cumberland FA, The Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth Football League, The Penrith & District Junior Football League and The West Cumbria Youth League have all signed up to take part in the second of The FA’s Silent Support Weekend across all of their respective age groups and divisions.
Following the first weekend in November, The FA have identified a second silent weekend across the 25-26 February 2023.
Whilst coaches will be permitted to positively coach throughout matches that occur during that weekend, parents and supporters are asked to show their support from the sidelines through applause only.
This will form part of a pilot between the youth leagues within Cumberland that will see a further two designated silent weekends during the remainder of the 22-23 season.
This weekend will also act as a reconfirmation of the importance of and the counties collective commitment to ensuring a positive football environment for players and referees.
Clubs will therefore also be asked to reaffirm their commitment to a Positive Football Environment through a County Commitment Statement, which will be reinforced through their club's codes of conduct with players, coaches and spectators.
Clubs are also asked to ensure that there is a designated spectator area marked out via ideally a barrier or alternatively a line of cones, with parents standing behind them on one side of the pitch and coaches/players situated on the opposite side of the field of play.
Cumberland FA CEO and Positive Football Environment Lead, Ben Snowdon said:
“Following a meeting with the three youth leagues it was clear that they all wished to be part of the second silent weekend.
"I believe that the majority of parents and spectators who attend youth games play their part in creating a positive football environment for all.
"I also believe that all parents want what is best for their kids and that the kids see their parents and supporters as superheroes and that they want them in attendance as they are basically playing for and wish to please these people.
"However we also know that if someone is not enjoying something, or is a pressured environment where everyone is telling you what and how to do things, that they are more likely to stop doing it and that unfortunately reports from some youth games suggest that this is the environment that is being created for our youth players and young referees.
"The silent weekend will therefore aim to focus parents and spectators attention to their behaviour and the impact that it can have upon the game and allowing the players to do the talking on the pitch.”
National and local feedback will be gathered as part of this process.