Welcome to my inaugural quarterly President’s message. This publication is designed to keep you all informed on what is happening in and around the FDBA.
It has been an extremely busy few months since I was elected President at the 2019 AGM in May.
Firstly, I would like to thank outgoing board members, Chris Beattie and Peter Harms. Chris and Peter have worked tirelessly in their roles over the past years and their efforts, dedication and support will be sadly missed.
I would like to take this opportunity in welcoming Vera Roberts and Eric Hollingsworth to the Board and I look forward to their contribution over the next three years. I would also like to congratulate and welcome Grant Dennis to the role of Vice President and I look forward to working with him.
In June this year, past-President Gary Emery retired from the Board. Gary’s contribution to the association has been enormous, spanning over 17 years. His hard work, commitment, dedication and leadership has ensured that he leaves the association in an extremely healthy position both on and off the court. Volunteers like Gary are almost impossible to replace, the FDBA will be forever indebted to Gary for his achievements.
In conjunction with our General Manager Wayne Holdsworth, the Board have developed the association’s strategic plan for the next five years. This was an extremely important process as it determines the direction, success and sustainability of the association. In September, we are holding association forums to present the plan and provide members with the opportunity to ask relevant questions. Dates for the forum are Wednesday 4th September and Thursday 12th September at 6pm, bookings can be made by contacting the office.
Over the past few months there have been many laudable achievements within our association, which I believe are worth sharing:
Domestic Competition Growth:
The association continues to grow which has been primarily driven by record junior team registrations. There are 552 junior teams participating in the winter 2019 season, that’s an increase of 56 teams compared with the previous winter season. Our fastest growing club is the Rowellyn Rockets. After forming in 2016 with 8 teams, the club has grown to 41 teams in 2019, placing them into the top five clubs at the FDBA. Registrations for the summer season close in September. I would encourage all teams to register early as we aim to achieve a record of 1,000 registered teams for the coming season.
Carrum Downs Secondary School Hire Agreement:
We can now announce that we have entered into a new hire agreement with Carrum Downs Secondary School. The two-court facility will be used for Saturday Junior Domestic competitions and Junior Blues training on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings. The schools cafe will be operating on Saturdays and will feature a barbecue, barista coffee and other assorted snacks and refreshments.
The VBRA Frankston branch has celebrated 150 registered members with the association in 2019, this represents a 50% increase in 6 months. The FDBA continues to work with the VBRA and our referee advisor to upskill our young referees with over 60 games of referee coaching scheduled each month.
You may have noticed some improvements around the stadium with upgrades in the main toilets and canteen area. We have also recently installed 12 surveillance cameras around the building to improve the safety of our members and reduce any unwanted damage to the facilities. We will continue to look at investing in other areas that require improvement as we look to modernise parts of the stadium.
The inaugural NBL1 season has just concluded and I must say it was an exciting season. The men’s team finished 2nd on the ladder with 14 wins and reached the preliminary final. The support they received was enormous with tickets for the game selling out in under 1 hour. It was sensational to see the stadium packed to the rafters with fanatical Blues supporters.
Head coach Andrew Harms has been awarded NBL1 Mens ‘Coach of the Year’. This is a wonderful achievement and is fantastic that Andrew has been recognised as the best coach in the league. Further to this, we are thrilled to announce that Andrew’s contract has been extended for a further 3 years.
The Women’s team won 9 games for the season and finished in 11th place missing finals by 2 games. Whilst it was disappointing to miss finals, there were some great results during the season with wins against both teams who played off in the Grand Final. Head coach Jess May decided to resign after 2 years with the club and I take this opportunity of thanking Jess for her efforts.
The exciting news is that we have secured Belinda Snell as the NBL1 Women’s Head Coach for the next 2 years. Belinda is a 3 time Olympian and multiple championship winner in the WNBA, WNBL, European and French leagues. Belinda has achieved so much in her decorated career, her knowledge and experience will be a wonderful additional to the program. After a successful NBL1 season, our very own Steph Reid has signed with WNBL team the Southside Flyers (formerly Dandenong Rangers). We wish Steph all the best for the coming season.
Our Youth League 2 Women team went one better this season by winning the championship in front of another packed crowd at our stadium. It was a magnificent effort by the team and well deserved considering the hard work and commitment shown by coaches and players. Head coach Byron Carpenter has been recognised for his performance by being nominated for Youth League Coach of the Year.
We had two teams qualify for the National Junior Classic held recently in June. The Under 12 girls coached by Nat Porter finished in 2nd place and the Under 14 girls coached by Adam Kerr finished in 5th place. This was a wonderful achievement by both teams and I congratulate all involved. Further good news is the Under 14 girls have qualified for the National Championships to be held late September in Ballarat. Adam’s team are the first Blues team to qualify for this event since 2007, I wish them all the best in what will be an unforgettable experience.
VJBL finals have commenced for our representative teams and I would like to congratulate the 20+ teams who have qualified for finals. It is exciting to see so many Blues teams making finals and I would like to wish them well for the coming weeks.
As you can see, there has been a lot of positive activity over the past few months and I am confident this will continue as we build on our future and strive towards delivering our strategic goals.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our club members, players, families, staff and volunteers for supporting the game of basketball and our association.
Tim Bower – FDBA President