Sadly, tough news to swallow this week. In a basketball sense, it officially brought an end to the season for all teams that represent the Eltham Wildcats; from Saturday Domestic (EDJBA), to Junior Championship (VJBL), our U23’s in Big V state competition to our national league men’s and women’s teams in NBL1. Regardless of the standard, all teams are finishing in the same way, with no championship winners, no individual awards, but more importantly losing the chance for friendship and mentorship through our great sport. Our youngest members those in Kinder Club, Cub Squad and Game Ready didn’t even get a chance to take the court to start their introductory programs! Our Adult Domestic competitions had a chance to finish their previous season and start grading for their new season, but little else.
We have started the ‘Ready 2 Rebound 2.0’ after the success of last year’s program. This year, we have weekly HIIT sessions conducted by Marlena Porter of Play Health and Fitness, we have a ‘Learn to Dance’ class run by DV Dance and a range of basketball programs. Our team are working on more basketball and non-basketball activities to engage not just children but the whole family. Head to https://elthamwildcats.com.au/ready-2-rebound/
So where to from here?
EDJBA – Saturday Domestic Refund for Winter Season:
As we’ve documented many times since we started taking Winter Registrations in February, we budgeted and charged based on a 12 game season, despite the EDJBA calendar being for 16 games. We worked on the theory there’d be a short lockdown and some games would be missed. As it turned out, the lockdown went for much longer than we’d anticipated, and 7 games were played. As our members were 5 games short on what we’d charged for, we’re offering $50 per player as a refund option. We did not include an option to credit to next season, as when we opened registrations for the Summer season, nobody knew Term 3 would turn out as it did.
You have some options:
There is no option to credit your refund toward your next season fees, as the majority of people have already paid for next season. This represents the easiest method for our staff and volunteers to manage the situation.
EDJBA – Saturday Domestic Summer Season:
I understand some people are concerned as to when things will resume and are hesitant to register. Once again, despite it being a 14 week season, we are charging for just 12 games. Due to the management of our own venues (Eltham HS & Montmorency SC) and great relationships with other facilities as we have done coming out of the last 5 lockdowns, we’ll be the first back inside venues training/playing when the opportunity arises. Over the July holidays, we made our stadiums available for additional training sessions for Domestic and Championship teams, which saw us host almost 450 teams trainings. This was the first time we’d done this and the overwhelming response was positive. We’re a community based basketball club with the benefit of stadiums of which we manage, so the ability to provide access for teams to train in non-playing times is a terrific thing for our community and something we will look to do again over summer holidays.
The main reason we are still encouraging people to register is to allow our Convenors and staff time to organise teams, training, coaches and get the information to the EDJBA. This time is vital to ensure that when things do open, we’re ready to get everything started immediately. If people register when indoor sport is allowed, we’re going to be left with no time to organise what is needed and for the EDJBA to fixture games. If you’re in a position to register, I encourage you to please do so. If you’re in any kind of financial hardship, please I cannot encourage you enough to reach out to Jordan Canovan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com) and we can help. We do not want any child to miss out on playing due to financial reasons.
Separate of this, it is important to be aware that the EDJBA will be using a Size 5 ball in the U8 and U10 competitions from this coming Summer Season. In the past the U10’s have used a size 6. Basketball Victoria just 2 weeks ago announced that its U12 competitions and programs would use a Size 5 ball and so the EDJBA from U11 and below will utilise the Size 5. Please note Saturday U12’s will continue to use a Size 6. As such, if you are buying a new ball and your child is playing in U10’s, then I would advise you to buy a Size 5. If you don’t need a new ball, then please do not feel the need to buy a new one.
All participants should have received correspondence from myself via Coaches/Team Managers regarding the conclusion of the season and information about the new season ahead. If you are interested in having your child trial for Junior Championship, then please keep an eye on our website and social media platforms, where the callout for registrations will take place.
We are the first community sporting club to employ a Wellbeing Officer – Sophie Foote; thanks to the support of Jasco Consulting. Working with our volunteers and staff Sophie is continuing to provide more activities, videos and avenues to ensure adults and children linked to the Wildcats have connection.
Australian Sports Foundation:
We have opened a fund for people to donate money to the club which will be put toward helping those less fortunate continue to play basketball and wellbeing programs. By donating to our ‘Community Support’ fund, you’ll go into the draw for a range of prizes including gift vouchers to local business, free basketballs, club merchandise and more! To take part you can donate here: https://asf.org.au/donate/community-basketball-support/ A $25 donation will grant you 5 tickets into the draw!
Montmorency SC Stadium:
If you live within 5km and haven’t used your exercise time to have a look at the Montmorency SC, then I encourage you to do so. Our 3 new courts are being built with the stadium facilities spanning three levels and the facility is certainly starting to take shape. You can almost see the kids shooting baskets in the stadium!
We have many coaches and mentors working valiantly to help people across our basketball community. To these fantastic people, thank you. Our team continue to plan and prepare to ensure we’re ready to provide outdoor and indoor basketball from the moment we’re allowed to do so. I encourage you and your family to take up the variety of programs available through ‘Ready 2 Rebound’ and be ready for basketball to resume, as it is likely to do so on short notice!
Our aim is to still be able to provide all of the community programs which we did pre-COVID, but there is no doubt that this lockdown is making things tough for a not-for-profit organisation. From our mental health programs to the free Primary School and Kindergarten clinics and the Administration programs where so many local young people get their first jobs, whether it is on court or off court, it is important and we’re trying our best to maintain them all for the return.
Please stay safe, get vaccinated if you’re encouraged by your doctor to do so and the very best wishes to you and your families on behalf of the Eltham General Committee, staff and volunteers.
Chief Executive Officer