Tough times but Sharks, SBA in profit

GOOD MOVE: St Theresa's Breakers players Lucy Shirley, 8, tries to get around the defence of Makarewa Rockets player Ella Yule, 8, during the primary miniball finals at the Invercargill velodrome last night.
GOOD MOVE: St Theresa's Breakers players Lucy Shirley, 8, tries to get around the defence of Makarewa Rockets player Ella Yule, 8, during the primary miniball finals at the Invercargill velodrome last night.

Southland Basketball's Jill Bolger is delighted both the association and Sharks' franchise have recorded profits for the past financial year in a tough economic climate.

The Southland Basketball Association have recorded a net surplus of $37,787 for the 2012 financial year, ending September 30, while the Sharks achieved a profit of $54,638.

The association's total revenue of $294,069 was up from $277, 285 on the previous year. Their operating expenses of $249,915 was down on the total of $269,182 from the 2011 financial year, with the association cutting costs in both operating and administrative expenses and representative and team expenses this year.

The Sharks national basketball league franchise benefited from cautious planning and prudent spending this year to go from a $1827 profit in 2011 to a $54,638 surplus for 2012.

Bolger said they had saved money from the non-appearance of former Tall Black Brendon Polyblank, whom they had factored into their budget at the start of the season. Polyblank was held up playing in the Swiss league playoffs and did not end up signing a contract with the team.

They had also used only two American imports during 2012, as opposed to the 2011 campaign, where injuries meant they had to fly in five United States players, which had an impact on their bottom line.

Bolger said they were pleased with the financial results of the basketball association and Sharks, considering the difficult economic environment businesses were operating in.

"For us, it's about weekly oversight of the budget," she said. "If you haven't got it, you don't spend it. It's about living within our means and being careful with it.

"With the Sharks, it's about no knee-jerk reaction spending. It's all about common sense, saving where we can, and sticking to our budget."

She said the Sharks' pleasing 2012 financial efforts had set up the 3-year-old entity nicely for next year.

"For us, it was an exceptionally good year.

"It gives us a bit of a springboard, so we can maintain that financial viability."

The Sharks averaged 1500 fans to home games at the velodrome this season, and Bolger said the challenge now was to increase crowd numbers and get more new supporters along to games.

Delays in the Stadium Southland rebuild had impacted on the association this year, which forced them to rely on the support of several schools and the Blues Rugby Club's gymnasium for alternative venues.

The growth of other competitions was also complicated because of a lack of available court space in the city.

Because of this, wheelchair basketball was unable to be offered this year, despite popular interest. Many basketball association competitions also had a limit on the amount of teams that could participate.

Miniball, which caters for primary school pupils in years 3 to 6, experienced a rise in interest this season, with 494 registered players, which Bolger attributed to strong coaching development work and the presence of the Sharks in the schools.

Bolger said the association had applied for a national age-group tournament for next year.

This year, they had to forfeit their hosting rights of the under-13 boys' nationals because the stadium was not complete.

The association also wanted to try to lure the Tall Blacks and New Zealand Breakers to Invercargill for games once the stadium was finished.

Meanwhile, Carole Gorham and Muriel Wells were both awarded life membership at the annual general meeting.

Gorham has been involved with the association for more than 50 years in a multitude of roles, while Wells has been an integral member of the organisation since moving to Invercargill from Twizel with her family in 1978.

Long-service awards were presented to Richard Hamilton, Richard Wheeler and Kay Howley, who have also made a huge contribution to basketball in Southland over a long period of time.

The Southland Times