In a departure from the norm, while I will comment on the season 2017-18, which has been a notable year of on-court successes, I’d also like to take the opportunity to outline how this year has established a strong foundation for the year to come.
We congratulate the Men’s team that travelled to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Their efforts in reaching the Bronze medal match was the first time a team from Scotland had done so in the history of the Games. Congratulations to everyone associated with the team. We congratulate also Caledonia Pride on reaching their first final and reaching the WBBL play-offs in their second year, as well recognising the rapid growth of our wheelchair basketball programme in terms of on-court success and membership numbers.
With regard to the Board and Secretariat, it has been a year of great change. Your Board started the year with David Watt and Andrew Warrington acting as Chair and Vice Chair, during the year both stood aside and the Board places on record our thanks to them for their time and effort on behalf of all of us over the many years’ service they have given to the game. In light of these changes, we co-opted Guy Richardson onto the Board in December. Furthermore, there were a number of changes within the senior level of the Secretariat that undoubtedly affected our efforts within the year. The last 12 months of Board activity have seen much focus on British Basketball Federation (BBF). While some people focus on the international aspect of the game, many of you have reminded us that excellence begins at home, and we will ensure that the uncertainty surrounding BBF will not destabilise your governing body here in Scotland.
Like all other sports bodies in Scotland, basketball is not immune to the changes in the general economy and our accounts show a loss for the year and a reduction in our reserves. The underlying decisions arose in our efforts to support the game as a whole and the women’s game in particular. Our efforts to qualify our women’s national team for the Commonwealth Games and our support for Caledonia Pride contributed to this outcome.
The Board has recognised the causes of this loss, put in place a structure and financial plan that will re-establish our financial reserves over the 24 months.
In these tough trading conditions, we recognise the invaluable support of our stakeholders, particularly sportscotland, whose support is greatly valued.
Going forward, our immediate focus will be to increase support for clubs. This support will come in the form of support for your coaches and officials, while establishing the Regional Academy programme under a new model focused on sustainability and our best talent sharing their expertise to benefit the game as a whole.
A particular focus of the Board is increasing the engagement with our membership on both strategic and operational levels. We are confident you will see a positive change in this area as we work to bring the sport together in order that we can achieve more. We want to thank you our members, all our partners and stakeholders for your continued trust.
We want to thank our basketballscotland employees and volunteers for their commitment, energy and drive to improve our sport.