Originally written by CODY WINNELL
IF A NEW secretary cannot be found by this time next week, Hamilton Amateur Basketball Association (HABA) will go into recess.
Gus Kuilboer, who is HABA president and current caretaker secretary, cannot continue in two roles. Additionally, he runs his own business so spare time is for him is a rare commodity.
It is time for somebody else to step up to the plate is the belief of the association’s executive committee.
Mr Kuilboer has been involved in some capacity with HABA for more than 40 years. In that time he has seen many a good secretary come and go.
After eight years in the role former secretary Tony Hutchinson pulled the pin early last year. His replacement, Leanne Kipping, was only able to give two years of service due to family commitments.
Since Ms Kipping stepped down Mr Kuilboer has juggled HABA’s secretarial and presidential duties on top of managing his own business.
Last week an emergency meeting open to all clubs and teams within the association was called. The meeting was well attended.
“It’s a shame that it takes something as drastic as this to get the clubs involved,” Mr Kuilboer said.
“The meeting was very well attended and very proactive and productive.
“I don’t think those concerned knew the severity of the problem until it was told to them at the meeting. I think a few were quite shocked.”
Those basketball people at the meeting were given an ultimatum – find a secretary or senior basketball will stop for the first time in 50 years.
HABA’s executive committee will meet again next Thursday where it is hoped a list of applicants for secretary – which is a paid position – will be discussed.
However, if no applications are forthcoming then she’s all over red rover.
“I’ve had a couple of people throw some questions at me about the job but nothing concrete that’s for sure.”
“I haven’t heard any names mentioned yet,” Mr Kuilboer said.
And this mess could not have come at a worse time for the association as its 50-year anniversary weekend is just around the corner (to be held November 24-25).
“It’s the last thing we wanted to come up,” Mr Kuilboer said.
“The 50-year anniversary committee is separate to the HABA’s committee but it’s still not very nice.”
Ideally, HABA wants the incoming secretary to do a two-year term. The successful applicant should also have at least a basic idea of the HABA and the way it runs.
Mr Kuilboer said while the secretary position probably seemed daunting; HABA had a very strong executive committee in place willing to help the new secretary wherever it could.
“We’ve got 12 on the committee and it’s a great committee with strong representation from most of the clubs.
“In fact we’ve only got three on that committee that aren’t involved with one of the clubs.
“There is still room for some clubs who aren’t represented to get involved however. That would be nice if we can get at least one from each club in future.”
Mr Kuilboer stressed HABA’s executive committee would have to give the ‘all clear’ to prospective secretaries, as it did not want “just anyone off the street” to take the role.
“The right person for the job has to be chosen,” Mr Kuilboer explained.
“Hopefully we will have a nice problem at next Thursday’s meeting where we have to choose one of a number of applications.”
The president predicted that there were about 550 senior basketballers in Hamilton and a further 650 juniors. He said that was more than 10 per cent of Hamilton’s population involved with the sport in one way or another.
“We don’t want the sport to fall over that’s for sure,” he said.