THE coach of a junior rugby league team has been stood down by his club following an incident where he was physically assaulted by a disgruntled father.
On July 29, Bobby Winner, coach of the Nambucca Roosters Juniors Under 11s team, said he was starting warm-up drills when Phillip Coggan arrived with his son.
Phillip Coggan is the brother of Bobby Winner's partner.
"We have a rotation system where everyone gets a turn to be captain. It was due to be a certain child's turn to be captain," Mr Winner said.
"The father was unhappy with the decision on who was named captain."
Coggan then physically assaulted Mr Winner.
Mr Winner said following the assault he took the boys, who were rather shaken up, to the dressing shed.
"I'm only 60 kilos but I tried to stand tall and hold my own," he said.
"One young gentleman, he is in the support unit and he was extremely distressed after witnessing everything."
The team were forced to forfeit the match.
Mr Winner has since taken an Apprehended Violence Order out against the man through the Mid North Coast Police.
Coggan pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Macksville Local Court on August 16 and was sentenced to a good behaviour bond for 12 months.
A few days after the incident, Mr Winner was stood down by the club.
"He was arrested and charged, and I lost my job. Strange," Mr Winner said.
In a statement, the Nambucca Junior Roosters confirmed all parties involved in the incident had been stood down.
"At the Nambucca Junior Roosters we take the Country Rugby League, CRL, code of conduct very seriously," the club said in a statement.
"All parties involved in this incident were stepped down while we investigated.
"We have now passed this onto our superiors who are still investigating.
"All parties involved have been made aware of this."
In light of the incident, Mr Winner said parents need to be made aware that violence, especially at a children's game, is unacceptable.
"The incident has deterred me from ever being involved in children's sport again," he said.
"I probably sound like a bit of a whinger in the long run, but it's a shame the kids have been let down, espe- cially when they've been let down so many times before.
"Parents need to know that violence should not be displayed at children's sport. Children are meant to have fun whilst playing."
CRL has been approached for comment on the state of the investigation into the incident.
Abusive spectators can easily ruin the fun of kids on the sidelines of junior sports. Have you got a story to tell about an incident you've witnessed? Call 66502 969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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