I am pleased to let you know that we have seen a considerable increase in our membership for the 2016/17 softball season. Our registrations this year increased by 22%, with the addition of 13 new teams across our competitions. Fully utilising the online database has also enabled us to more accurately capture and track our total membership. Thank you to all of our clubs and associations for their efforts in achieving this outcome.
I would also like to thank the hard working members who helped Softball ACT deliver three very successful tournaments in January; U17 Boys National Championships, Open Men National Championships and the Australia Day Carnival. While we have a small group of united volunteers we also saw some new faces, who commented on how easy it was to volunteer (not as scary or daunting as they imagined). My goal moving forward is to build on this enthusiasm to grow the volunteer base and lighten the burden which currently falls on so few.
In recent times, communication and resourcing have been identified as key inhibitors for softball to grow. To ensure that we are best placed to mitigate these barriers and have the resources available to focus on the things that matter we have partnered with our governing body, Softball Australia. Together we will share common services and gain experienced and knowledgeable resourcing. We have entered into an agreement with Softball Australia that is designed to improve governance, build capacity and continue to achieve membership growth and retention for the sport we love. I am very confident that this agreement will produce positive outcomes.
There are three key elements to this agreement:
Financial services – Softball Australia will provide us with a full financial management platform which will include:
o financial transaction processing (accounts payable and receivable)
o provision of financial reporting
o coordinating our financial compliance obligations such as taxation.
While SAL will provide these services on our behalf, Softball ACT remains accountable for the management of our own finances.
Association Coordinator – Softball Australia has provided us with a joint resource, Sophie Moore, to fill the role of Association Coordinator to deliver the Sporting Schools Program and work with junior associations and their clubs to assist them in implementing best practice strategies to improve governance, build capacity, and achieve membership growth and retention.
Operational Services – Softball Australia will provide support to Softball ACT to ensure we are well-placed to deliver core strategic priorities to clubs/associations in order to build capacity and capability.
A commitment was made to provide a summary after each Board meeting. To date this has not happened, for which I apologise. The Board and office staff have worked tirelessly this last year and are committed to delivering essential outcomes for its members, and with their hard work I’m pleased to announce Softball ACT is now debt free and on track to be in the black for the 2016/17 financial year.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge Angela Byron, who has recently resigned from the Softball ACT Board, for her efforts and to wish her good luck for the future. Angela will continue to work within our softball community and we look forward to seeing her around the diamonds.Good luck for the remainder of the season – run hard, turn left.