Adam Szymoszowskyj explains why we’re undertaking a survey of let issues across Scotland
The essence of basketball is hope and potential, no matter who you are, no matter your economic background or race, whether male or female of any age, a wheelchair user or not.
For this reason, access to affordable sports halls in order to be able to play our sport is an equality issue. Without affordable access, only the most privileged get to play, and a sport such as basketball that across the world has been viewed as a symbol of possibility, of escape from poverty and hopelessness by the most disadvantaged in society, has the gymnasium door closed in its face, quite literally.
For this reason basketballscotland recently took a stand against proposed price let increases in schools in Edinburgh. We worked with colleagues from other indoor sports and with Club Sport Edinburgh to successfully campaign for a pause to plans for significant fee increases that we believed would price clubs out of our sport, as well as impact on individuals and communities.
This week we decided to go one step further. Again in conjunction with our partners from other sports who rely on indoor facilities, we’re surveying clubs across Scotland to better understand the problems that clubs in other areas of the country are experiencing with let pricing and to see where we can help.
By now, all the basketball clubs in Scotland will have received an email from the team at basketballscotland, explaining the reason for the survey and asking for information on ongoing issues and experiences of facility costs.
Once the survey is complete, we will identify areas where we feel we may be able to influence a positive change. Where we think we may not be able to effect a change, there may be other avenues to pursue. The first stage, however, is to better understand the problem.
We are proud of the fact that young people, both male and female, often from disadvantaged communities, turn to our sport for a sense of belonging, purpose and to grow as people, both physically and mentally. We need to do everything we can to protect this.
Many of you will be aware that a strategic priority for basketballscotland, especially in the year ahead, is to build stronger relationships with clubs, to engage and talk more to the membership, and to work together as much as we can to grow our sport. Recent examples of this commitment to better engagement have been our pre-AGM meetings with clubs, our plans for a collegiate Regional Academies programme that both develops better young players as well as better coaches across Scotland, and the Edinburgh schools pricing campaign.
In the spirit of continuing this work, I would encourage your club to complete the survey, share your experiences, either positive or negative, and let’s see what we can do to ensure fair and equitable access to gym halls for all.
Please find the link to the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RKX67TG
We are aiming to close the survey on Friday 21st September 2018.
Adam Szymoszowskyj is basketballscotland’s Club Services Manager for East & Central.