Dear Baseball Victoria Members,
As this month comes to an end, we continue to plan for a bright future for baseball in Victoria. However, now more than ever, it’s clear that COVID remains a serious health and safety concern, and we are very much still in this pandemic. We look forward to the months ahead where widespread vaccination may help us live embrace a new COVID normal with fewer lockdowns and interruptions to the things we love like being involved at our baseball clubs. While we work to get there, we must always stay prepared for different outcomes based on the evolving COVID situation.
We appreciate the patience and understanding from all our clubs, presidents, secretaries, and members. We know the last 18 months have not been easy, missing out on the sport we all love and dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of the pandemic. Even so, we remain confident in the future of our sport and look forward to getting through this pandemic as a strong and supportive baseball community.
Our dedicated efforts to mitigate the risks and financial implications of COVID were undoubtedly led by outgoing Baseball Victoria CEO Kristie Middleton. The feedback in recent weeks since the announcement of her departure has been that clubs enjoyed working with her, as did the Baseball Victoria Board. We greatly appreciate Kristie’s leadership and extensive planning to place the organisation in the best possible position given very difficult circumstances. Since arriving at Baseball Victoria in August 2019, Kristie has worked diligently to further streamline operations, enhance the Victorian Summer Baseball League, and has worked collaboratively with the Board to develop the foundation of a strategic plan that will take us into the next chapter - we’ll have more information on how members can contribute to shaping this plan in the near future.
While Kristie’s tenure has been marked by COVID throughout entire seasons, her leadership played an important role in our ability to maintain financial stability for the organisation, including accessing government funding and reducing staff hours where required. We were also able to pivot in line with Victorian Government requirements and restrictions, in an effort to provide as many safe baseball opportunities as possible. While leading the staff group through a period of instability, Kristie has established well-documented processes, so the way forward remains clear from a baseball operations perspective. In addition to day-to-day management of a state sporting organisation, Kristie also focused on the health and wellbeing of the Victorian baseball community, with online resources like mental health support and At-Home Baseball Training videos on BV TV.
We are excited for a bright future in Victorian baseball, with a detailed transition plan as we farewell CEO Kristie Middleton and hire the right leader to guide our organisation through this next version of the strategic plan. We will be engaging with our members on the strategic plan very shortly, as we continue working on the strategy to oversee the financial implications of COVID and balancing the best possible ways to deliver baseball in Victoria. While COVID continues to present challenges, we are thinking about what the situation could look like through the summer while ensuring we prioritise financial sustainability and our clubs’ needs.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our volunteers for the tireless work they do so that we can all enjoy our beloved baseball. Volunteers go above and beyond in normal times, and COVID has added another layer to volunteering in grassroots baseball. We are very grateful to all our volunteers for their continued efforts and hope the smiles on everyone’s faces when they get out to play is partially a reward for their service.
Yours in baseball,
Baseball Victoria President