Sackville Basketball Boosters Association enjoys stellar season
The Sackville Basketball Boosters Association (SBBA) enjoyed a most successful recently-completed season with 140 boys and girls taking part and a pair of provincial championships returning to this community.
But in spite of all this, there is an ugly cloud hanging over the horizon and if a few more parents aren’t prepared to step up to the plate and assume leadership roles, the future of minor basketball in Sackville could come crashing down.
This is merely a “heads up” since the four-member executive has become weary from all the demands placed on it over the past five years. One lady is stepping down while the remaining members cannot be expected to remain in position with significant help coming forward.
Tasha Gallant has served as president for five years without a break while also serving as coach of a number of teams and she says it has been difficult to recruit assistance – from new board members to coaches to managers and to having volunteers step up to assist in the myriad of duties that must be carried out during the season.
“I love the game of basketball,” Gallant said during a seasonending review. Vice-president is Monica Kaye while Karen Carer and Tina Milner round out the executive, with Milner taking her leave after five years serving as treasurer.
One question that immediately arises is “where are all the male members?” There are as many boys as girls involved in playing the game and yet not a single father has stepped up.
This is a far cry from the time the SBBA came into being more than 50 years ago. In the early days the chores were shared about equally, with Dr. Harry Smith being one of the first presidents. Actually, the organization came into being following summer programs staged by Wayne Mackay for boys and girls as early as 1965. A number of parents saw the potential for growth and were quick to respond.
Another problem comes from the fact referees must often be imported from Moncton, which adds to the work of the executive, to say nothing about the added costs.
The normal progress has been for parents to become involved in operating the minor program, at least during the time their children are playing and then the next generation follows suit. This is not only for basketball but for all other sports programs and makes for a smooth running operation.
And while it’s unlikely the few who have been giving of their time and talent to ensure minor basketball continues to flourish will ever totally walk away and have the program collapse, it is time for former players and parents to assume some responsibility to ensure the game not only continues to operate but will do so with new energy.
Aside from the fact four ladies have been grossly overworked, the past year has proven to be a good one. A total of 140 young athletes have had a lot of fun in games played in the three local school gyms along with many more around the province and in Nova Scotia.
And Gallant says she plans a spring league for bantam girls.
Schedules were run for six age classifications, with the youngest being those in kindergarten and the oldest being high schoolers.
The fifth annual bantam invitational tournament witnessed the girls bringing home the gold medal and the boys grabbing the bronze in another fine showing.
At the provincial level, the mini girls added the championship banner and the boys earned bronze.
Twelve teams participated in the 45th annual mini invitational tournament at the Mount Allison gym. The young ladies from Sackville went undefeated to claim another first.
On top of this, a team of midget girls also gained fame by winning all the marbles to add icing to the cake.
All of this action comes with a price tag of over $20,000, which comes from registration, donations, fundraisers and a grant from the town.
Several Mount Allison students have stepped up to assist, and Gallant says she would like to see a local clinic held so more volunteers could qualify for officiating.
And she concludes with a warning note – “we need more volunteers or we are in jeopardy.”
Sackville has long been known as a town with a big heart. Now is the time for that generosity to be demonstrated in yet another manner – reach out and lend a hand to guarantee the game of basketball for our young boys and girls will become even more robust.
As the dragon boat races quickly approach, Tantramar Regional High School (TRHS) is pulling out all the stops to attain their fundraising goal of $18,000. With only two weeks to go, TRHS has raised a collective $7,000, and there’s still plenty coming in from the remaining boats. Every rower of the school is committed to raising as many funds as possible, determined to bring the school to it’s goal.
In-decent-seas is a boat which encompasses all grades from the wetlands jungle. Unlike the majority of the other TRHS dragon boats, they have not confined themselves to only one age, bringing in all those from grades 9 through 12. With a sense of humour to match their name, this newly-formed boat is ready to bring its bright Titan spirit to the “seas.” Although the freshmen of the boat have never rowed, most the older students are experienced dragon boat