Bendigo baseball season in doubt

The Bendigo Baseball Association is facing serious doubts about its future and might not stage competitions next season.

The BBS is without an executive committee after no nominations were received for the president, secretary or treasurer’s positions at the AGM in November.

As a result the AGM was suspended and will resume at 7.30pm on January 23 at the Albert Roy Reserve clubrooms in Eaglehawk.

If the positions aren’t filled, more than 200 baseballers could be left out in the cold in April, when the association’s 76th season is due to begin.

Outgoing secretary Helen Aikman said apathy was a reason behind the lack of administrative volunteers.

“People may be of the mistaken belief that someone else always does it – the BBA does it,” Aikman said.

“I’ve heard people criticise the BBA, ‘the BBA should do this, the BBA should do that’.

“We’re (all) part of the BBA, every single club is part of the BBA and (they’ve) all got an equal opportunity to come to meetings and participate and to take responsibility for the things they criticise.

“(The BBA) needs to remember that teamwork happens in administration as well as on-field… and remembering that without the other teams and other clubs you don’t have a competition.” 

Aikman, along with last season’s president Dylan Stanyer and treasurer Jason Downing, chose not to seek re-election at the AGM.

“They both did a good job,” Aikman said. “I’m quite sure that it’s not any particular criticism that led to this. 

“Myself as secretary, I’m finishing-up because I’ve done it for a few years. I’ve done it despite some health issues, I work full-time and I just feel it’s someone else’s turn.”

Aikman also blamed duties other than organising the baseball competition for the BBA’s lack of volunteers.

“More and more is expected of volunteer organisations in terms of compliance with this, that and the other rule that governments introduce,” she said.

“You have to know about insurance, you have to know about incorporation, working with children checks, food handling and all that is peripheral – or we see it as peripheral – to conducting a game and competition.” 

Aikman has sent letters to the BBA’s 230 players from last season appealing for nominations at the January 23 meeting.

An email has also been circulated by the Falcons Baseball Club stating “the future of baseball in Bendigo depends upon your help and the outcome of this meeting”.

The email states that if clubs were to play social matches outside of the BBA they would need to negotiate their own agreements with Baseball Victoria, seek their own insurance and be incorporated. The BBA has six grades – three senior and three junior – as well as a T-Ball competition – which are under threat.

Baseball Victoria chief executive Brett Hidson could not be reached for comment.

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