FIBA family steps up for CBA
Almost 18 months after a tragic earthquake left an entire community devastated, a nation in mourning and the rest of the world trying to help in any way they could, the Canterbury Basketball Association (CBA) is ready to turn the page on an altogether brighter chapter.
Having initially picked up the pieces of being rendered homeless in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the CBA has had to deal with the challenge of operating from a number of temporary bases.
But, with the support of the FIBA Family, the organisation is about to ensure they can put down some semi-permanent roots and finally get back to some degree of normality to continue enhancing their excellent reputation.
Recognised for their robust administrative structure that provides services to over 2000 members, it has been a tough job to stay operational and effective.
Thankfully, with the dedication of the staff, and a considerable amount of emotional and financial support from FIBA Oceania, FIBA’s International Basketball Foundation (IBF) and the New Zealand Basketball Foundation to the tune of $40,000, the recovery effort is proving to be a real success story with the end now in sight.
Chief executive officer Megan Harlick recently confirmed the CBA was getting ready to move into a portable office that will provide an effective solution in the short to medium term.
The long-term vision is to move into a new multi-purpose venue shared with other indoor sports, and negotiations are continuing with the local development authority and politicians.
However, the current solution has been a real boost and despite the disruption, there has even been an increase in the number of registered players, which gave Canterbury president Tony Mann further reason to be optimistic for the future.
“The increases are testimony to the fact that our sport can provide a sense of normality to the people of Christchurch, especially its young people, in otherwise trying times,” he explained.
Meanwhile, FIBA Oceania secretary general Steve Smith was quick to underline the importance of the sport coming together to help colleagues in dire need of assistance.
“We talk frequently in international circles about our ‘basketball family’, and a characteristic of a family is that they stick together through good times and bad, and help each other when misfortune strikes,” he said.
“I am delighted that members of our family have stepped forward to help Canterbury Basketball in their hour of need.
“The basketball community of Christchurch has made a significant contribution over many years to basketball in New Zealand and community life in Christchurch,” continued Smith.
“With these significant contributions to our game, of course we would want to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible.”