Basketball ACT (Basketball Canberra) was incorporated back in 1975 after decades of providing competitions for Canberra region residents. The association has demonstrated a continued increase in participation since official records have been kept. We also run quality programs at levels of competition and development and are the only local parent sporting body to demonstrate the capacity to fund the construction of a major sporting facility without having extensive financial support from Government. We, in fact, have provided two quality facilities which presently give us stability in Belconnen and Woden. We now are at bursting point on the Southside and are not servicing our Tuggeranong membership well at all. As early as our 1982 Development Plan, Basketball ACT had identified the need for three four court venues in Belconnen, Woden and Tugggeranong. Especially in the ACT, which recently was published as having the highest participation rate in Australia, facilities are essential for an association such as ours to function. We do not have the luxury of Government constructing our facility for us, as they do for outdoor sports, but more will be said on that later.
As for examples of how well our association has been able to cope with financial obstacles and yet still keep our playing membership expanding, we would cite the following examples for your information and consideration.
In 1987 we increased senior fees by a minimum of 25% per member in an effort to gear up for the construction of a Belconnen facility. After dropping only a minimal number of teams, we were able to show a growth in team numbers, at the higher playing charges, within one competition or over a six month period. This difficult decision and its result showed the loyalty of our members to play our sport and also placed us in a financial position which allowed us to build a much needed facility. We expect the same loyalty again when we build in Tuggeranong in the near future.
Later, in 1991 we were able to fully borrow the amount necessary to construct out four court Belconnen venue. No other sport in the ACT, with the exception possibly of hockey, has been able to borrow and comfortably handle such an undertaking. We are more than confident that we would again be able to meet our financial obligations to your bank should we be successful in our loan bid for Tuggeranong. Simplistically stated, we would look to handle our finances as stated in Attachment C. Surely this will become part of our pending negotiations.
Finally, we have been able to fill our venues each and every time we have obtained access to additional courts. Three courts were set up in 1977 at NATEX, two courts in Woden in 1985, an additional court at Woden in 1991 and four courts at Belconnen replaced the three courts at NATEX in 1992. In each instance, the prime time available for usage was occupied almost immediately and certainly within one competition or six months after opening.