An update from the Board of Basketball Ireland
May 17, 2017
THE END OF ONE JOURNEY, THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER
Few basketball people will forget 2008, when we heard out of the blue that Basketball Ireland had a black hole in its finances totalling €1.4 million and was teetering on the verge of total collapse.
Many crisis meetings were held and the figure of Paul Meany emerged as Executive Chairperson to lead a difficult fight back for the sport.
In 2012, Paul stepped down as Executive Chairperson with Jackie Dunne being appointed as non-executive Chairperson continuing to develop out the solid governance structure now in place.
2009 – 2011 the following actions / decisions were implemented
- Governance restructure
- Creating a commercially experienced board to oversee the crisis & future Governance of our Sport
- Creation of a Council to develop and manage the sport of Basketball
- The Finance, Audit & Risk Committee [FinARC] was reconstituted
- Under the stewardship of Paul Moore,
- An experienced CFO (Donal Walsh) was engaged
- Group Debt restructured
- BI Patrons Scheme [BIPS] launched
- Annual cash surpluses of €200,000 targeted to reduce debt over 7 years
- Staff numbers reduced
- Salaries of retained staff materially reduced
- International programmes suspended
- Minimal Capital Expenditure in the National Basketball Arena
- Irish Sports Council assistance sought.
- A new Chief Executive recruited (Bernard O’Byrne)
- New BI Member Registration system launched
Fast forward to 2016 - 2017 –
- Basketball Ireland to be debt free -December 2017
- (Financial Graphs attached)
- Schools playing numbers rising
- More coaches and referees are getting qualifications,
- International platform returned
- (albeit in a co-operative funding model)
- Men’s and Women’s National Leagues have highest number participating s in 10 years
- New clubs are springing up around the country.
- Four Development Officers in place bringing direct assistance to Area Boards, Clubs and players.
- FIBA award hosting of u 18 Europeans to Basketball Ireland (Nov. 2016)
- Competition to take place in August 2017 with 24 teams participating
- FIBA National congress successfully hosted (May 2016)
- Representative team competes in China
- Representative team competes in European Club competition
- BI CEO appointed to FIBA Finance committee
- Renowned coach Pete Strickland appointed as Senior Mens coach
- Many new sponsors now supporting Basketball Ireland
- Positive relationship & reputation with Sport Ireland
- Consultation process with all of Basketball community commissioned
- Resulting in BI Strategic plan completion.
- Strategic Plan Implementation Group (SPIG) created
The Basketball community has been outstanding in its support for initiatives brought forward by the Board and this Board thanks everyone in the sport for their understanding, patience, and support of the many difficult decisions your Board had to make.
The next phase of our journey, as a debt free organisation starts in 2018.
So now, with the particular financial challenges almost behind us and with a solid foundation in place, the future is positive. Exciting developments are already taking place at all levels of the game – some of which are listed above. The big challenge over the next few years is to deliver on the Strategic Plan for which we will, of course, need additional resources and funding.
The Vision set out in the Strategic Plan is: “That Basketball is a much-talked about, high-visibility, exciting national sport, which is well financed, and is played to a high-level and enjoyed all throughout the island of Ireland”
It is an ambitious Plan going forward to 2025, but, together with your continued support and encouragement, we can achieve its goals and provide a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for all our players, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers.
To borrow a phrase, “Yes we can!”