Game night one at the Derwent Entertainment Centre marked about 18 months since I joined the Chargers board and started this personal adventure. As I looked around a packed house on Friday night I reflected on how far we have come and how many people have contributed to our growing club. While our first two games of the season were not the results we had hoped for it was still a night to celebrate basketball and the Tasmanian basketball community.
Looking around the stadium on opening night I was struck by the number of people wearing their new Rhino Wrangler bright blue hoodies. These hoodies are provided by our friends at Mood Food for all Chargers game night volunteers. And it struck me just how many people have come together to make the 2018 season the success that I know it is going to be. So many willing people, all making a contribution to building not only a club, but a community.
A few weeks ago, the Chargers board asked Jon Fletcher from Good-To-Great to run a culture and values session for directors and coaches. We have been so busy with the operational stuff for 18 months, we have not – until now – had time to take a longer-term, deeper view of the club. To me culture and values are the things that will make all the difference in continuing to sustain and grow the club. If we get that right then our recent growth will not be just a ‘flash in the pan’ but will be sustained for a long time to come.
To start the session Jon asked us to think about ‘purpose’. What is the purpose of the Hobart Chargers basketball club? To win games? To win finals? To keep dozens of volunteers really busy?? After much discussion we settled on a purpose that we could all be enthusiastic about.
We build, grow and inspire communities and pathways, through basketball.
That is our purpose. We know that to fulfil this purpose we have to win basketball games and we will always keep our volunteers really busy. But those things in and of themselves are not the purpose of the club. As Jon Fletcher says, when we understand purpose we can start to align our values and actions towards that purpose.
This year we are working with great sponsors like Hydraplay and Telstra to engage the southern Tasmanian community to inspire them to play and to participate. We are working hard to give our younger players more and more court time to open up their pathways. We are providing some high-performance coaching for our players and helping them build pathways for their basketball lives. We have also formed a small partnership with the University of Tasmania that we hope to expand in coming years to build great educational pathways for our players too.
While we want the wins, because we know that inspires communities as much as anything – we also have a broader purpose in the Tasmania community. I know our strong volunteer group understand that and that’s why they do what they do. Thanks Rhino Wranglers for a great start to the season!