Good afternoon all,

We had a lovely weekend in Port Macquarie and the feedback from the participants at the event was positive about the weekend. Everyone felt energised and enthusiastic as we were departing to travel back to our various destinations across the state. People felt we provided a high-value well-rounded program with good speakers and a very professionally run event with Tracey Holmes as our MC for the weekend.

For those who attended a BIG Thank you for taking time away from your families and come up to beautiful Port Macquarie.  For those who could not make it I have provided a summary of the event including 2 major announcements, both very exciting for our sport. We also Thank our sponsors and partners who participated on the weekend. A big shout out to RMA Sport/Aurora Floors for sponsoring the event.  Another big Thank you goes out to Warren and the team and CSM and Tom and the team at Spalding for your ongoing support.

The weekend started with a cocktail party on Friday night providing everyone to meet and mingle in a relaxed environment including or sponsors, partners, speakers and members.

Saturday had a full program starting at 9 am followed a joint breakfast. The first session was run by Neil Goffett from Newcastle BA on Sporting Schools and Aussie Hoops.  Newcastle has been the #1 association in Australia in engaging with the school under the umbrella of Sport Australia’s funded Sporting School’s program for 2 years. Neil presentation talked through why Sporting Schools and the key initiatives they have put in place to connect the schools with Newcastle BA to convert the kids at the end of the program and bring people into the stadium.  A few very good ideas and pointers which not only gives Newcastle more fans for home games but also brings new kids to learn to play and mini ball programs.

The next sessions was presented by David Cushway and Jacquline Nguyen from Office of Sport in the Premier’s initiative – Active Kids.  David and Jacquie provided an update on the program and provided data on how basketball has been able to engage and roll out the program across the state compared to other sports. The also outlined some variations to the program in 2019 and some tips on how to make sure it is successful for you.

Following the two morning sessions focussed on participation, we made our first announcement.

BNSW and Leap Basketball Foundation have partnered to roll out a program for disadvantaged kids across the state.  Leap Basketball Foundation has been founded by Steve Atkins.  Steve Atkins is a major advocate for our sport and his vision is to have kids from any walk of life playing basketball to help put s smile on their face or shine and rise to whatever heights they can achieve. The program in its first phase is a grant program for kids who want learn to play or progress in our sport but don’t have the means to do so. The grant program will start in early 2019 and includes $200,000 over two years for parents and caretakers to apply for funding from.  To learn more about Dream Hoops visit


After morning tea we changed pace and Carl Milligan from Pitchers Partners presented the financial management kit developed for Office of Sport for an association and an overview on good association governance from a financial, risk and management perspective.

At the EGM on Sunday morning Pitcher Partners were also voted in as BNSW’s and all it’s subsidiary organisations auditors effective immediately.  BNSW went to tender earlier this year as communicated at the AGM on 19th May.  Changing or reviewing auditors regularly is considered good governance and even though we were happy with the services provided by CDTL. We felt it pertinent to go back out to market.  We offered Tier 2 firms and CDTL to tender for the whole business.  This included BNSW and its subsidiaries Sport Stadium Management and Horizons. The selection panel selected three organisations to interview in September. The selections committee used an evaluation table and criteria to compare the candidates.  The recommended organisation to move forward with based on the evaluation criteria was Pitcher Partners.  The key benefits of Pitchers Partners are:  They are a larger firm and have a large audit team who work in sport as well as other industries.  Pitcher Partners also do work for Office of Sport and Sports Australia in non-audit services and can, therefore, provide other services and insight across our business. The recommendation to move forward with Pitcher Partners was passed by the BNSW Board in the October Board Meeting.

Saturday night was punctuation for Basketball in NSW with our 80th Birthday Dinner and a celebration of Bob Elphinston’s legacy to our sport.  Tracey asked Bob’s questions on his sports and basketball journey and the Life members shared their stories and what legacy Bob has given our sport. It was a very emotional and lovely celebration of Bob’s career in Basketball in NSW, FIBA Oceania and Internationally (as FIBA President) and of course, the work he did to secure Sydney’s Olympics with the bid team which he headed up and following that as the Head of Sport for the Olympics. We thank Trish Nicholls for the beautiful Birthday cake she created for our 80-year celebration.

A number of topics on the agenda covered facilities.  Facilities is our #1 challenge in growing our sport across NSW.  In September 2017, BNSW invested in a resource to solely focus on the strategic pillar of infrastructure. Jeremy Purden was employed and has now been with us for 12 months. The main focus of the role includes supporting associations to build opportunities to expand, refurbish or build new courts and also work closely with government on building infrastructure strategy and work with the other sports to collaborate on shared both indoor and outdoor facilities. I, do in my capacity as CEO work with Jeremy on various projects including the Centre of Excellence project, build relationships and collaborate with government at both local and state level across the state.

In the facilities section, Jeremy provided an overview of BNSW work with both regional and metro facilities programs, key government initiatives and Sport Stadium Management.

The sessions following Jeremy were;

Director of Facilities strategy for the government – John Egan. John kindly drive to Port Macquarie to present NSW governments strategy and key projects to support the development of sporting facilities in NSW. John shared his insight on BNSW’s facilities strategy, BNSW investment in an infrastructure resource, a partnership with PCYC and Centre of Excellence.

John also shared updated on the regional infrastructure fund, metro sports development fund, Joint use policy for Department of Education sites, Greater Sydney Sports infrastructure masterplan and answered a number of questions from the audience on infrastructure.

Following John’s presentation we had three association presentations sharing how they had achieved stadium extensions and in Geelong’s case built a new 6 court stadium on a shoestring in less than a year.

Owen Evans – President of Manly Warringah BA shared how to build a compelling business case to be able to seek commercial funding.  His presentation took everyone through the financials the bank wants to see and how to secure a commercial loan without extending your cash flow and resources.  Manly Warringah BA opened their 2 court extension at NBISC in 2016.  They are currently working on a business case to further extend the stadium to 8 courts.

Steve Burke – General Manager Hills Basketball Association. Hills has seen significant growth over many years and is a stable and very well run association in Castle Hill.  The association is run by Steve Burke and his team and they are kicking many goals in their local community and on the court in Waratah League.

Hills opened their 2 court extension at their Caterson Reserve Stadium in September 2017 and BNSW held the Waratah League Senior finals at the venue in August 2018.

Steve shared his journey with the association and the stadium extension which was 8 years in the making.  He also highlighted the business case requirements, pitfalls and importance of building the relationships with the local MP and council.  Hills funding model is different to Manly’s in that they have a loan with the council.  This provides a longer pay off period for the loan. To gain access to the money still requires the business case with the key financials over 3-5 years and projections for the future. Steve has this year after the successful completion of the stadium, taken over a facility in Dural which has room for expansion and is looking at a large project in another part of Hills Shire District which will open up opportunities for kids to play basketball in their local community in an area where Hills has not had a footprint.

Dean Anglin – General Manager Geelong BA (Victoria).  Dean started the requirement to build more courts in Geelong in 2012.  After several attempts working with the council to seek funding without success.  Geelong started looking a commercial model in late 2016.  They sought out warehouses that could be converted to a Basketball facility.   After searching for a few months they found a warehouse which they believed was suitable and after thumbs up by their SEABL team they brought in architects to start the plan.  The building was secured on a 10+10 year lease with an option to buy.  The gained DA approval to proceed in early July and commenced building immediately.  The 6 court facility was completed and open 4th November 2017 – a 4 month turn around from the start of the building project!  The facility has 6 full courts, full amenities and car parking, full canteen, offices and a boardroom;  The project cost $1.8m to complete plus the lease cost.  The project was commercially funded and required the same financial reports and projections as Steve’s and Owen’s projects.

All the stories are worth their weight in gold when you consider facilities extension or new builds.  Please also contact Jeremy for assistance.

Our second announcement for the weekend came with Luke McCoy’s session on automated camera solutions and LIGR smart software for live streaming.  Luke sessions showcased new technology as well the technology we used across the Waratah League Championship Division in 2018.  With the support of CSM our apparel partner, we were able to run a pilot across 2 games per week with the smart LIGR solution (linked to FIBA live stats) with handheld cameras. We also for the 2nd year in a row live streamed all Waratah League Senior Finals with commentators and LIGR Smart software.  In the session, we announced we have formed a partnership to install permanent sensor cameras on each show court for associations with teams in Waratah League Championship Division for free with LIGR Software. We will work with the associations who have council-run facilities to ensure all cameras are set up and running by the start of Waratah League in March 2019.  We will ask you to work with Geoff and Channelle to ensure we can collect the relevant information and data to make this happen over the next two months.

Inclusion – Rachel Herrick. Rachel has now been working on inclusion for 18 months.  She provided insight on the strategy, government funding and the programs being rolled out across the state.  She also shared more details on the Walking Basketball grants program currently being rolled out across the state and the focus on wheelchair basketball in 2019.

Member protection – David Watts. David was hired in mid-2018 to provide proactive support and work in the Member and child protection space.  BNSW opted into Mandatory reporting scheme with the Ombudsman’s office which works with child protection in 2017.  David’s appointment provides BNSW with the ability to have a trained investigator in-house and also keep the complaints handling role separated from the investigation.  The two trained resources at BNSW are;  Debbie Keirs and David Watts.  David took everyone through the change in the Crime’s Act and direct implications on the Boards and CEO/GMs.  David has sent out information for everyone to read.  THIS IS IMPORTANT!  Please read and come to David with any questions you may have.  We are here to support you.

The last two presentations were focussed on Fan engagement and how to link grass-roots with fans and elite teams to enable growth.

Andy Crook – COO of the NBL and Jodie Hawkins – GM Sydney Sixers (Big Bash team.  Both gave up their weekends to come and share their insights and how they form two different perspectives have built the Elite league/teams with fan engagement.

Andy shared NBL’s journey over the last 3 years and its vision for basketball.  NBL has over the last 3 years brought basketball back on the sports map in Australia and have been able to secure free to air deals and strong commercial support for the league. He also took everyone through the HUSTLE model for 3×3 and why the NBL bought the license from Basketball Australia and with FIBA’s blessing built the 3×3 ecosystem – HUSTLE.

Jodie shared the growth and success of Big Bash and how cricket leverage the popularity of Big Bash to re-invigorate grass-roots and junior cricket and took part in a panel with Andy, Steve Burke and Neil Goffett in how to develop sport and making the member/fan the centre of your journey which was the last session on Sunday.

Again, THANK YOU for your attendance and for having some fun networking and hopefully learning some new things as well.  We have sent out a survey to gain some feedback from the weekend.  Please fill it out so we can understand what you would like to see more of and less of next year.

The conference next year will be held on the weekend of 1-3 of November.  We are still working with councils to lock in the location but will let you know as early as we can in 2019. As it is a Hall of Fame year we will work out a location which will be suitable for Hall of Fame as well.