It is aiming to create a “sustainable model for the sport” with plans for a 10th NBL team based in the state. Coastal product McCoy, from Devonport, said the board wasn’t set-up to “represent areas”, but “for skill sets of people”, but he would take with him enough knowledge of the region to represent it.
ALEX FAIR THE ADVOCATE Despite a lack of representation from the region, the North-West Coast will still have a voice on the NBL’s Tasmania Advisory Board says Basketball Tasmania chief executive Chris McCoy.
Eyebrows were raised on Friday with the announcement of the board that was made up of “prominent business and sporting leaders from both the North and South of Tasmania”, seemingly overlooking the Coast despite its status as the state’s “basketball heartland”.
While the North-West Thunder or NWBU failed to get a seat at the table in the board’s initial line-up, Launceston Tornadoes chairwoman and City of Launceston councillor Janie Finlay and former premier and Hobart Chargers president David Bartlett did, joining McCoy, Tasmanian Hospitality Association chief executive Steve Old and Tourism Industry Council chief executive Luke Martin on the Larry Kestelman-led board.
“I live on the North-West, my kids are playing in the NWBU and I am seeing it all the time, so if anything I represent the North-West as well as the rest of the state with BTAS, but certainly I am across the North-West issues and I think I can put a strong case forward,” he said.
The board has the capacity to grow, but McCoy did not believe there was any immediate urgency for it, and it would be up to NBL chairman and owner Kestelman to make any additions.
But McCoy again reaffirmed his belief that Kestelman understood the important role the North-West Coast plays in the game in the state, highlighted by the fact that three NBL Blitz fixtures will be played in Ulverstone and Devonport.
North-West Thunder chairman Tony Barker said he would like to see some North-West representation on the board, although conceded “the way they are doing things, I’m not sure if that is going to achieve a lot”.
“You can’t really say it is about the whole state if you don’t include the whole state,” he said.
“But I do take the point on that they have put together a skills based panel, so they have people there due to the positions they are in.
“I was surprised there wasn’t someone with more runs on the board when it comes to commercial and a business point of view, so to me that is where there is potentially a hole in the group.
“But maybe Larry feels that with his experience in that area that is not what they are working for, so I wonder if more of what they are looking for is networks and connections to really help them eliminate barriers for Larry to get done what he wants to get done.
“Whatever they can do to get a team up and going has to be a good thing, provided it is not at the expense of what is already happening here.”
Barker said he hadn’t been approached to be part of the board.