O’FALLON, IL (KMOX) – If you go to a youth sporting event at an O’Fallon, Illinois park, leave your Five Hour Energy, Red Bull, beer and cigarettes at home.
Next week, the O’Fallon, Illinois City Council will vote on a parks committee recommendation that encourages coaches, parents, fans and administrators to be drug and alcohol free at youth sports activities. But the policy would also cover performance enhancers and highly caffeinated drinks like Red Bull. The Director of the O’Fallon, Illinois Parks and Recreation Department, Mary Jeanne Hutchison says they just want to encourage good behavior and discourage unhealthy behavior by those young people involved in youth sports activities at the cities area parks.
“I don’t think any of us want a youth baseball coach to drink three Five Hour Energy drinks and then coach a game.” Hutchison says she realizes that what is common sense to some is not common sense to others.
There are several rules that already govern coaches, players, parents and fans in the town’s parks and recreation activities including no profanity.
“We just want to be ahead of the curve.” she says. “20 to 25 years ago, no one thought about doing background checks on voluntary coaches or talking about sportsmanship to players but they are both the norm now.” She says they have to explain what can be done and said and what can’t be done and said to those involved in youth sports activities.
Even if the policy is approved, it has no real teeth or punishment. Hutchison says if they see someone doing any of the activities discouraged by the policy, they may just ask them to step away. The parks and recreation department did sell highly caffeinated drinks at it’s parks a year ago but Hutchison says they stopped because no one bought them.
Hutchison says a councilman introduced the recommendations after finding something similar online. She says it may be rewritten before the council votes on it.
“I know there may be some who support the idea but others who may feel like this is government getting into their business again.”
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