2015 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
It was a very eventful year for Baseball in the South Okanagan.
At the AGM a year ago we had 2 separate Associations in Penticton, Penticton Minor Baseball (PMBA) and South Okanagan Minor Baseball (SOMBA). The decision was made to amalgamate the two Associations to better serve the Youth Baseball Community in the South Okanagan. PMBA was dissolved and SOMBA was the name chosen for the new Association playing under the BC Minor Baseball Association umbrella.
The new Board established a Vision Statement of “Providing a positive baseball experience for the Youth of the South Okanagan” and registered 320 plus kids who played baseball across separate Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Seasons. In hopes to increase our transparency and communication we established a Social Media presence with a SOMBA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page, along with a new website, website host and a new registration process.
The year did not come without challenges that I consider “learnings” for the new Board; the new website was a challenge to setup, make functional, and the new host didn’t provide the support that we needed. We learned that our Membership wasn’t comfortable with and online registration process and our registration numbers hurt because of that. And finally we didn’t establish a clear strategy or execute on a Sponsorship/Fundraising strategy.
There are some “Opportunities” that we have for the new year and going into the near future; developing coaches who can thus develop players which should lead to more competitive teams and players being more engaged in the game going forward. We need to get the funds to send coaches to clinics, host clinics locally and share knowledge from local coaches that have played at higher levels and have a grasp of the game. A second opportunity would be to increase our numbers by developing the SOMBA “brand”. For example, some of our teams hosted tournaments with teams coming from the Lower Mainland and Alberta attending, this showcases our teams, kids and associations across Western Canada. The success of the Blue Jays this year really helped baseball be top of mind across Canada, we could capitalize on that momentum.
We need to be mindful of some “Threats” that are out there as well. The biggest being the threat of us potentially losing some fields. We need to keep up our relationship with the City of Penticton to make sure that our kids continue to have good quality fields to play on. The new Board will need to stay on top of City plans and work together to keep the game growing in our area.
I would love to see people that our passionate about the game of Baseball and passionate about developing the Youth of the South Okanagan step up and get involved. I wish the new Board, all the teams, and most importantly the kids all the best in the upcoming year!
President, South Okanagan Baseball