Bronze Club Mark recognition - Limerick Sport Huskies
September 30, 2020
Basketball Ireland caught up with Limerick Sport Huskies who recently became the first club to achieve the Bronze Club Mark award. You can find out how your club can achieve this award here.
Read the full interview below to find out how they found the Basketball Ireland Club Mark process and more.
Can you tell us a bit about your club?
Huskies Basketball Club was founded in 1997 when the population of Limerick and the suburbs significantly increased and a need for a basketball club was recognised. The club originally started training in Scoil Carmel before we relocated to the phenomenal facilities in the University of Limerick Arena where our numbers grew so big, that waiting lists for teams were needed. An increase in numbers again meant an increase in demand for courts resulting in the Club having to use Milford NS Community Hall and the Daughter of Charity Hall in Lisnagry.
We pride ourselves on being a community-based club where all ages and abilities are welcomed and being based in a number of locations lends itself to that Club vision.
What is unique about our club is that founding members are still activity involved, whether that means being on committees, supporting committee members, doing a table officials role and beyond.
A numbers of mottos are associated with our club such as ‘Once a Huskie, always a Huskie’ and ‘We’ve got your back’ which really encapsulates the community we have built and continue to build through our Club vision.
What challenges do you face in the club, if any?
This year has proved challenging for most clubs around the country. We lost our National League venue in the University of Limerick Arena as a result of it being turned into a field hospital for the time being and one of our underage halls, but ironically, our underage girls are now based back in Scoil Carmel which is actually where the club originated so we are back to our roots! The main aim for our club this year is to retain/increase our numbers across all age groups while keeping costs down for families after a challenging couple of months enduring the pandemic. Moving our training location from Castletroy to the city was a risky move but we had no choice and thankfully the club is thriving with numbers increasing across all teams with some groups being now at full capacity.
What made you want to try and achieve the Basketball Ireland club mark?
We have a brilliant, progressive committee consisting of volunteers ranging from coaches, to players, to parents and founding members so to see the hard work they put in acknowledged as well as highlighting to our members and the wider basketball community that all our structures, paperwork, and procedures are to Basketball Irelands highest standard was definitely the most influential motivating factor for us.
How did you find the Basketball Ireland Club Mark process?
Once we took the list of documents one by one, we soon realised we had a number of them in place already- maybe they needed to be updated and edited but most already existed in some shape or form. The support and guidance we received from Paul Carr, BI development officer, was incredible. He was extremely efficient in his correspondence and was with us every step of the way. Overall, I would highly recommend the process to all clubs as it’s extremely practical and the documents required protect the club, members, volunteers, coaches etc which are essential in today’s new world.
What difference is the Basketball Ireland Club Mark going to make for your club?
The recognition of any achievement has a massive impact on a club and we believe the Club Mark Award, especially being the first club in Ireland to achieve it, is a real honour and represents the values we as a club stand for into the future.
Do you think you will engage with the club mark system and achieve all the way up to Platinum Club Mark? If so, what do you need to do to get your club to this stage?
Yes, we’ll definitely continue to the next level of the Club Mark system. Again, thanks to our fantastic committee we have a lot of the paperwork required in place and the couple of documents we don’t have are discussed regularly during meetings so it’s just a matter of putting pen to paper and making them official documents.
What are the goals for the season ahead?
Our goals for the season ahead are to keep all our players safe and healthy, to continue to grow the numbers of our underage teams, to continue to develop our relationships with both LIT and UL, to develop our relationship within our region as a club leader with respect to Player development, to compete in as many games as possible at underage, senior and National League level and to keep girls of all ages engaged in basketball, enjoying the sport and hopefully winning some games along the way!
What would you say to other clubs thinking about getting involved in the Basketball Ireland Club Mark?
Club Mark has been an extremely positive experience for our club. We’ve an amazing committee who work together to give the best opportunities to our players and their families and by being awarded the Bronze Award, it acknowledges the hard work they put it on a voluntary basis.
We had a number of the documents required to achieve the award in place but by having this structure, it motivated us to raise the standards we have for our club and for basketball in general. The documents required to be awarded Bronze are documents we all should have to protect players, volunteers, coaches, managers and parents/guardians regardless thus it’s a very practical and worthwhile process.
The support we received from the development officer, Paul Carr, was outstanding and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for that and to thank our NGB, Basketball Ireland for the opportunity to continue to develop our Club and the sport we love.
If your club would like to apply for the bronze club mark award, check out all the details here or please contact Basketball Ireland' Leinster development officer Paul Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org