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Hear from the President – October

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Dear Cougar Family,

What a crazy year it has been.

At times, an extremely challenging and stressful year for our Cougar Family. We know these challenges impact each of you in different ways. We sincerely hope everyone is successfully navigating these challenges and the Cougar community is able to help in some way for those still impacted.

As President, and on behalf of our board, we are extremely thankful to our Cougar Family. When things were looking grim in April, the contributions and sacrifices made by our dedicated staff, players, partners and sponsors, volunteers and wider community during this time were amazing – so thank you.

The physical and mental wellbeing of our community is so important – our people come first. Being able to get together and play a great game with a focus on inclusion, enjoyment and excelling is a great way to contribute to the wellbeing of our family.

As we move into 2021, if we make sure our people enjoy being part of the family and the game, we will continue to contribute to important community wellbeing. Most importantly, we must make sure at all levels that not only the players, but the staff, coaches, referees, team managers, score bench volunteers have a growth mindset to continue the wonderful work of our proud association.

As a result of the amazing efforts and contributions of everyone in our Cougar Family, the association is in a great position.  The Board of Directors have a rolling 3-year strategic plan to ensure we are sustainable and successful in meeting our objects. Broadly speaking, we are meeting our strategic plan objectives.

Some of these positive steps include:

  • The Association is now in the strongest financial position in more than a decade.
  • The Association has a strong and dedicated management team backed up by sustainable operational processes.
  • Ongoing stadium improvements – the last few years have seen new backboards, shot clocks, safety padding, improved seating, and better visual appearance.
  • Participation programs are rapidly growing, and holiday camp attendances are the largest in a number of years.
  • Domestic competitions are growing strongly in both the junior and senior space, with senior expansion into Melville LeisureFit Centre.
  • Our WABL program has grown to 22 teams, with some exciting talent development announcements to be made before the end of 2020. This is in addition to the strong partnerships within the Cougar Family with Coaching Hoops and Zealous Basketball, led by Andy Stewart and Mark Clayden.
  • Our State Basketball League programs are both in the first of three years with their respective head coaches, with a view of building long-term sustainability. The program will undergo the biggest re-brand in 30 years this year, with the announcement of the move to NBL1 West. This will lead to significantly more exposure for the competition and commercial opportunity for the association.
  • Slow but sure progress with the stadium redevelopment now looking likely to encompass additional courts and facilities in addition to upgrade of the existing facilities.

The Board of Directors would also like to congratulate Tyrone Thwaites on his promotion to Chief Executive Officer. With the recent growth of the association, Ty has earnt this position and the club is thankful for his effort and his leadership. In addition, we are very grateful and proud of the excellent work contributed by our permanent team members in Simon, Michelle, Kat and Nicholas – thank you!

As President I couldn’t be more thankful to our board of directors for their great work in ensuring we have progressive governance and a solid strategic plan and direction for our club. Your contributions are much appreciated.

A special thankyou must go to outgoing board members Julie-Anne Morton, Dale Brown-Kenyon, Tammy McCrystal and Mark Clayden. This is in addition to current members Mel Van Lit, Ralton Benn and Nicole Roberts.

Another thank you must go to our Executive Directors Christian Bauer (Director of Finance) who has done an amazing job on the business side, and to Mark Dimmock (Vice-President) who has been a massive support in a demanding year.

There are so many proud volunteers at the club. Whether you just score occasionally at a domestic game or put in 15-20 hours a week as part of a busy SBL program, we say a huge thank you for your contributions.

It is a great time to be a part of our Cougar Family. Most importantly the foundations are in place for further growth and enjoyment in participation, and excitingly, the overall improvement and sustained success in all areas of the association.

To this end, we invite everyone in our Cougar Family Community to participate, step forward, enjoy working together and to continue help us succeed as the proud association that we are.

Travis French


On Behalf of the CBA Board.

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