Sackville Bas­ket­ball Boost­ers As­so­ci­a­tion en­joys stellar sea­son

Sackville Tribune - - OP-ED - Wal­lie Sears Write Call

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

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