Let’s all look after our stadium. Please supervise your children.

It is fast approaching my first anniversary here at the FDBA and I have personally become very engaged in all aspects of the organisation. I thoroughly enjoy working alongside all of the great volunteers that support the organisation so magnificently.

I have become wedded to the organisation and its humble abode – the Frankston basketball stadium. Like my own home I do not like to see it abused and so you can imagine how we all feel when we see our home of basketball abused.

Unfortunately in the past year we have had the stadium compromised from time to time, in fact more regularly than I would like to report. Some of the things that have occurred include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Full toilet rolls thrown into the toilet bowl blocking the system and causing an overflow requiring a plumber to be called out at a significant expense to the Association and impacting further use of that toilet facility – this happens regularly at the Frankston stadium and at our satellite venues which places our relationship with them in jeopardy.
  2. Basketballs thrown up to the ceiling in the foyer creating marks on the newly painted ceiling surface.
  3. Food, drinks and food wrappings left on the seats when watching games, when bins are placed at the end of each court.
  4. Basketballs thrown hard against walls damaging photos.
  5. Basketballs thrown hard against windows cracking them.
  6. Kicking the walls causing damage to the walls.
  7. Kicking the toilet louvres damaging them.
  8. Graffiti in toilets.
  9. Unsupervised children purposely tipping food on the ground in the foyer and overturning chairs and dangerously swinging on barriers.

I could easily continue with another dozen examples of where damage has occurred to the stadium or excess cost has occurred associated with willful damage. When reviewing the CCTV in the foyer for example does not paint a very pretty picture.

The cost associated with repairs and maintenance due to wilful damage directly negatively impacts our capacity to upgrade items that will make our humble abode that little bit better.

There are a number of preventative actions that other stadiums have implemented including ceasing selling food from the canteen, banning basketballs from the stadium etc etc.. I would like to think we can work through this issue without implementing these style of draconian actions. But it is up to you…

I have written about this before and I will again reiterate that children must be supervised at all times by their parents or guardians when they are at the stadium. I personally had to go outside last week and save very small children from getting hit by a car that were playing next to and in the car park. It is not safe nor do we allow unsupervised children running around in the stadium foyer.

The FDBA now work collaboratively with the Commission for Child Safety and as an Association we have a responsibility under the standards to do everything possible to make children safe. We have had reports in the past of undesirables frequenting the surrounds of the stadium, as a parent do you want your children potentially exposed to these undesirables due to your lack of supervision?

We have placed signage around the stadium to remind parents to supervise their children.

The staff at the stadium have been instructed to ask any child that is not supervised where their parents are and to take the child to them immediately. This is sometimes an awkward thing to do but the alternative is not to do anything and wait for something much worse to happen to a child.

Finally may I ask all of the 99% of stadium users who treat the stadium well to keep that very small percentage that abuse our stadium accountable and together we will make our humble abode our home away from home.

Thank you.

Wayne Holdsworth – General Manager