October 2020

Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Club header

What we did

Our Board rallied early and utilised existing skill sets in the club including a Crisis Management Consultant (Left of Boom Crisis Management) and psychologist Dr. Samantha McLeod (The SAM Centre). The board appointed a Crisis Management Working Group to allow prompt response and decision making to the crisis.

The club understands the important role we have for the wellness and wellbeing of our members. We also understand our in supporting our wider community members and local businesses. Essentially, we want to play an important role in uniting the community and bonding the community together in tough times.

Our Wellness Program has involved strategic and targeted engagement sessions. We provide members and opportunity to engage as they want, understanding the time being spent online. All sessions are recorded and can be accessed any time. Some of the activities run to date include:

  • A dedicated number and email for support
  • Weekly coach check-ins and guest speakers at an age group level (not team specific). These sessions aren’t generally basketball specific and have involved motivation chats, trivia events and parent vs child competitions
  • Family designed physical activities:
    • 2 x weekly sessions with a strength coach delivered on Zoom with an average of 60 members per session
    • Weekly Yoga sessions for mothers with an average of 15 participants per week
    • A virtual marathon from Melbourne to the Gold Coast with 80members and families participating. It took 18 days and 3599 kms were travelled.
    • Over 300 members have participated in 4 Mental Health Webinars with guest panellists including NBL, WNBL and AFL panellists, facilitated by Dr Samantha McLeod, looking at Female, Male and Officials mental health.

We caught up with Matthew Dunstan to talk about their mental wellness program.

Why we did it

We were determined to be leaders in how we support our members and the wider community. There was little engagement from our National or State bodies during the initial stages of COVID-19 that was engaging and targeted to social and recreational participants, with a focus on elite and high-performance athletes and programs.

Our club had two significant mental health situations occur in the past three years (suicides) and were in the process of creating a wellness program prior to COVID-19. This led to a consultation with our department leaders and members during the early stages of the COVID related suspension of activities. Two common themes stood out that formed the basis of how we would tackle the impact of COVID-19:

  • We needed to keep members “ready” to go. A return to play could have occurred quickly and we didn’t want to come back and have to start again.
  • Serious concerns around the mental health and wellbeing of members of their families if the suspension was extended and the predicted economic impact on the wider community became a reality.

In the background there was a concern that the club had the risk of losing a number of participants if we didn’t continue to engage and offer opportunities that were relevant to the needs of our members. This led to a specific and targeted approach on the content of what we are delivering.

What was the result

We initially measured our outcomes based on the number of people that attended or participated in each session. The feedback we received was that the sessions were meeting the needs of the community, however a concern was the amount of time people were spending online for work or home schooling.

This meant we altered our expectation to providing content that people could engage as they are want to. We keep attendance lists and have noticed that members tend to choose their engagement activities depending on when activities are organised. To combat this all sessions are recorded and available for offline participation when it suits the individual members.

We consult with our departments weekly and also have surveys and feedback forms to help shape the content and delivery of future sessions. Our social media following has seen an increase during through the implementation of these programs and activities:

  • Average like per month have increased by 48% (2987 to 3167)
  • Number of followers has increased from 2978 to 3281
  • Our reach has increased from 6282 to 8182

Feedback mechanisms we use are:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews and follow up conversations
  • Participant registrations and tracking