The Future of the TBA

SeanGothe

New Member
With the departure of Cara Honeychurch after 10 years as CEO of the TBA it is very important that the next CEO has a long bowling background.
Neither the Çhair or Deputy Chair of the TBA have a bowling background which makes it imperative that the new CEO is a bowler and most preferably someone who has competed or at the very least had an active role at the tournament level of the sport. The sport cannot have its top 3 positions held by individuals from outside.

Cara was not only a great bowler at state, national and international level but she is also an accountant.

Cara possessed just about the ideal set of attributes for the CEO of the TBA. A person who truly understands the sport at all levels and is also qualified to understand its financial side.

The TBA needs another CEO with a similar base set of attributes.

I have no issue with outsiders being brought in to senior positions to provide different ideas and perspectives. At the same time we must have a bowler in at least one of top 3 positions of the TBA who understands the game and more importantly understands bowlers.

Tenpin Bowling is competing with so many other sports and activities today that its future as a sport at a competitive level is now under genuine threat. Jason Belmonte has been incredibly successful on the PBA tour for a decade but he is not a one man walking panacea for the sport in this country.

I want the sport to thrive for generations to come and we need a bowler at the helm of the TBA with a genuine passion for the sport to give us the best chance of that happening.

Sean Gothe
Member of the ATBC / TBA since 1976
 
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Daggie.

Member
Hi Sean,
What was the reason Cara leaving her position that may answer some of your thoughts?
Can the TBA afford a new CEO?
League bowling has fallen off a cliff for a long time & future doesn't look good & now with Covid what impact it will have on our membership as well.

Darrell Holt
No Ditch No Daz.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
Hi Darrell,
Yes I agree that League bowling has fallen off a cliff and the Seniors appear to be doing far better in numbers than those entering the sport at a young age for the first time. Unfortunately we are getting older and won't be around forever. Like you I am also not sure whether the TBA can really afford a CEO but I do know we need a 'bowling person' at the top of the tree whether that be a 'ÇEO' titled position or something else. I can't conduct an audit to see exactly which positions are genuinely affordable because the TBA Annual Report doesn't provide a complete breakdown of all individual remuneration. There is possibly a case for that in a 'sporting membership type' organisation. The 2019 Annual Report report does disclose that there are 3 staff categorised as key management. Two earn in the range $75,000 to $109,999 and the third earns somewhere between $110,000 & $150,000. I would actually be more interested to know the remuneration of board members. I have no issues with the aforementioned 3 key management staff receiving a reasonable wage for their efforts.
The question then again becomes whether a sport the size of Tenpin Bowling in Australia really needs 3 senior staff including a CEO type role.
I just want to see a 'bowling person' overseeing things because I really believe the TBA needs that.
On your last point Covid has decimated bowling in Victoria particularly and even more so in Melbourne. Indoor sports do not appear to have any relevance to our state government. I think the 2020 and 2021 TBA Annual reports will give us a pretty bleak picture of our membership as you suggest.
Lastly I can't comment on why Cara has left the TBA. I have known Cara for 36 years and I do know that she cares as much about bowling as you and I do. Cara has been around bowling for what must be close to 40 years including 10 years in the CEO role. I also know that anyone with her ability and intellect is going to want to seek new challenges in life and expand their horizons when opportunities arise.

Sean
 
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steve jones

Active Member
The administration of the sport in Australia was started on Jack Walton's kitchen table and that's how it will finish on someone's kitchen table. I see the international side of the sport is also about to step off a cliff - some arrogant clown who thinks a name change will solve all the problems and that apparently all those that worked tirelessly to achieve IOC medal status didn't have a clue and didn't know what was going on.

With imbeciles like him the sport deserves to drop down stone dead.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
G'Day Steve,

Yes there have been a lot of people over the years involved in this sport who will never go close to bothering the 3rd digit in an IQ test.

Sean
 

GeorgeF

Hypercell = Hyperhook!
With the departure of Cara Honeychurch after 10 years as CEO of the TBA it is very important that the next CEO has a long bowling background.
Neither the Çhair or Deputy Chair of the TBA have a bowling background which makes it imperative that the new CEO is a bowler and most preferably someone who has competed or at the very least had an active role at the tournament level of the sport. The sport cannot have its top 3 positions held by individuals from outside.

Cara was not only a great bowler at state, national and international level but she is also an accountant.

Cara possessed just about the ideal set of attributes for the CEO of the TBA. A person who truly understands the sport at all levels and is also qualified to understand its financial side.

The TBA needs another CEO with a similar base set of attributes.

I have no issue with outsiders being brought in to senior positions to provide different ideas and perspectives. At the same time we must have a bowler in at least one of top 3 positions of the TBA who understands the game and more importantly understands bowlers.

Tenpin Bowling is competing with so many other sports and activities today that its future as a sport at a competitive level is now under genuine threat. Jason Belmonte has been incredibly successful on the PBA tour for a decade but he is not a one man walking panacea for the sport in this country.

I want the sport to thrive for generations to come and we need a bowler at the helm of the TBA with a genuine passion for the sport to give us the best chance of that happening.

Sean Gothe
Member of the ATBC / TBA since 1976


Sean I believe such an applicant has applied, well experienced, suitably qualified and with high level International bowling experience. Lets hope the board can take direction from other countries who have engaged high level bowlers to run their federations (USA comes to mind) and we can 'MAKE TBA GREAT AGAIN'. :)

I truly agree it has to be a bowler with suitable qualifications and experience. He or She has got my vote!
 
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SeanGothe

New Member
Thanks George that is positive news.
It will be very interesting to see what the next head of TBA thinks of the arrangements for a ''start up'' organisation known as Strike 3 running the next 3 national championships in Hobart. I believe the Tasmania government has been quite supportive and I would expect that it is putting in a decent sponsorship sum? I doubt we will ever know exactly how generous due to ''commercial in confidence'' arrangements. I have tried to find out something about Strike 3 and its Managing Director Ashlee Carroll in terms of background but I haven't had any luck. As a ''start up'' organisation I suppose we just hope for the best. My expectation of its performance is high given this organisation has been given 3 years to get it right.
Locking the National Championships down in one city for 3 years is the biggest change the game has ever seen in this country in its now 60 year history. Ultimately this experiment will have a very significant impact on the sport's future. Bowling certainly needs an injection of ''something'' in this country and we will know in the not too distant future whether a new style event like this is it.
 
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steve jones

Active Member
George if this missive from you is "code" for you being the applicant - then that would be no bad thing. Cara will be a hard act to follow but maybe an assertive, aggressive marketing type front man is what is needed - I know [as Sean has indicated correctly -g'day back Sean by the way] well enough that financials are a serious requirement of the job George - but accountants come at a penny a dray load..all you need is a good one.

Sean I believe such an applicant has applied, well experienced, suitably qualified and with high level International bowling experience. Lets hope the board can take direction from other countries who have engaged high level bowlers to run their federations (USA comes to mind) and we can 'MAKE TBA GREAT AGAIN'. :)

I truly agree it has to be a bowler with suitable qualifications and experience. He or She has got my vote!
 

steve jones

Active Member
..I have picked up some info about the name of the possible bowling type replacement for Cara - if my info is correct I am not entirely surprised given the inability of most sports administrators to be a decent judge of character. I met this person one time, shook hands and had to double check that my watch was still on my wrist.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
The ATBSO has enjoyed tremendous success over many years right across Australia because it is basically run by bowlers and / or people who have been involved in the game since the 1960s and 70s. These are people that are known throughout the bowling community. Bowlers will appoint people they know and trust to run their organisation. If you have been around 40 plus years people will have a pretty good idea in regard to both your ability and integrity. Most bowlers wouldn't know many of the TBA officials if they tripped over them in the street. How many TBA administrators could pick Ian Bradford, Jeanette Baker or Steve Lovell out of a line-up? Yes it is true that you don't have to be a bowler to be a successful administrator but you need to know something about the game and its people. I will always back a long time participant with a genuine passion for their field of endeavor (assuming they have the appropriate skill set) over anyone else. Perhaps the TBA Chair and Deputy Chair should assemble a panel of respected BOWLING PEOPLE or give Veto rights to the Bowlers within the TBA organisation in regard to the appointment. I don't want to see something eventuate like you have described above Steve.
 
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GeorgeF

Hypercell = Hyperhook!
George if this missive from you is "code" for you being the applicant - then that would be no bad thing. Cara will be a hard act to follow but maybe an assertive, aggressive marketing type front man is what is needed - I know [as Sean has indicated correctly -g'day back Sean by the way] well enough that financials are a serious requirement of the job George - but accountants come at a penny a dray load..all you need is a good one.
Long time no chat Steve, hope you are well. You still in WA?

I can confirm I did not put in for such a role, I am too embedded in my current business and do not possess the time or want to take on such an important position. I am eager to see who they interview and appoint, I truly feel it needs to be a bowler or someone with high level bowling experience. We have a proven 100% failure rate in appointing outsiders to our organisation (Gillian was the last I believe who came from Equestrian), lets hope they have learnt from that debacle.

In the meantime, I'll sit on the sidelines with my popcorn and watch. With COVID hopefully coming to an end the role has become even more important. The appointed person will probably have a greater responsibility to be the beacon of light for struggling centres who will need significant grass root programs to get us back on the upwards trajectory. It's a tough position with big shoes to fill, I wish all applicants all the best!
 

steve jones

Active Member
Sean - not a bad idea and yes if the individual I have been told is in the running get's up it will be of zero advantage to the TBA. Yes George still in WA the land of peace and contentment and as yet we are not socialists unlike some other Australian states [well at least 2, one you live in, so good luck with the business] - although I dare say it's coming..and when it does I will relocate to a small island in the South Pacific - long before the Chinese come over the horizon. Best to you both.
 
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SeanGothe

New Member
Thanks Steve, I think with Cara's departure there are obviously a lot of people like us who have been around for decades who will be very interested in how this ultimately plays out. With the expected crunch to membership following Covid the financial viability of the organisation has never been more in the spotlight. We know that Jo Babic, Geoff Boness and Morty Douglass are there because of their passion and love for the game. Graeme Cox has spent 20 years in bowling centre management which also brings a degree of credibility and commitment. The other 4 board members (to differing degrees) are far less known to the general bowling community. Given the recent financial hit to the TBA and the departure of a highly regarded and universally admired CEO I would like to see the TBA throw open the books to the TBA membership. This is a genuine chance for a RESET. I have no doubt that many bowlers would like to look more forensically at the income & expenditure of the TBA and its financial projections going forward - AC. (After Cara). This will also include the forecast benefits (financial, membership & promotion) from the Tasmania experiment. Throwing the books open allows a genuine insight into the financial state of the game. An Annual Report is OK but given the current situation forensic examination would be far more enlightening.
 
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steve jones

Active Member
Sean I'm about done here - it's been good to catch up with you and George as well...I'd just like to close with this observation.

I lived through the golden years of bowling in Australia [from 1962 onward] - you did too mostly Sean - 125,000 members at the ATBC, massive world class performances by teams and individuals in Zone and World events, massive participation and extraordinary bottom lines for the industry - outstanding times, simply irreplaceable. Yet nothing is forever and change - be it good or bad, is inevitable.

The TBA must now play the cards they have - and with just 26,000 members [2019 Annual Report]- and I assume that number has plunged to well under 20,000 due to the Chinese Virus [let's never forget to give the Chinese full credit for it] they have a huge job ahead of them. They need people of substance and vision. So here's my point - what in the name of God do all these people on the Board do? They have these people with what appears like a wealth of qualifications on paper - what is their true worth - what do they produce?

I suspect they are largely worthless. I don't say that to denigrate the individuals I mean it as a block of people..as a Board, what do they contribute?

Let's see where membership is in say 2-5 years. Every other measure is simply smoke and mirrors because if they keep relying on the government for their very existence - and the numbers prove that they do now and I suspect have done for years - they are sunk the day the funding disappears - and disappear it will.

Here's an oldie - but a goodie as they say "nothing happens and no one gets paid until somebody sells something". And the TBA sells membership and membership services.

THAT you can take to the bank!
 

Geoff300

Active Member
Thanks Steve, I think with Cara's departure there are obviously a lot of people like us who have been around for decades who will be very interested in how this ultimately plays out. With the expected crunch to membership following Covid the financial viability of the organisation has never been more in the spotlight. We know that Jo Babic, Geoff Boness and Morty Douglass are there because of their passion and love for the game. Graeme Cox has spent 20 years in bowling centre management which also brings a degree of credibility and commitment. The other 4 board members (to differing degrees) are far less known to the general bowling community. Given the recent financial hit to the TBA and the departure of a highly regarded and universally admired CEO I would like to see the TBA throw open the books to the TBA membership. This is a genuine chance for a RESET. I have no doubt that many bowlers would like to look more forensically at the income & expenditure of the TBA and its financial projections going forward - AC. (After Cara). This will also include the forecast benefits (financial, membership & promotion) from the Tasmania experiment. Throwing the books open allows a genuine insight into the financial state of the game. An Annual Report is OK but given the current situation forensic examination would be far more enlightening.
I was a big supporter of Cara and we spoke from time to time, aside from when i was chair of the NSW Board. For me It was certainly time for Cara to move on , some of her decisions were a disgrace to the Sport. We don't need another Accountant as CEO. When it comes to some of the Board members mentioned herein I would ask that people have a good look at those as well. Things are pretty bad when we recently appointed a new General Manager from Cricket who knows nothing about Tenpin Bowling and knows none of the history of the Sport, Well They do bowl in Cricket i guess !!!.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
I remain a supporter of Cara Honeychurch because she is a good person. The attribute which puts Cara in rare company is that to the best of my knowledge she has not done one thing in her entire life that was not with the best of intentions. That does not mean she hasn't made mistakes or in hindsight realised it may have been better to have done things a different way on occasions. Cara always tries to do the right thing and that is what earns you respect from people who think. I could easily say someone is disgraceful because they may not have my literary skills. Steve Mackie failed either year 11 or year 12 twice but he might be the only person I wouldn't take on in an Australian bowling history contest. I don't really care whether the next CEO is an accountant, a failed high school student or someone who writes like they fill in potholes for a living. I do hope the individual knows something about the game and has Cara's desire to always TRY and do what they think is right. People should remember that. Using the phrase 'disgrace to the sport' in the same sentence as Cara (even in the context of decision making) is completely unwarranted. Oh, a few people have called me in the last week and asked why I have not stood for the TBA Board. I will but only when no members of the board are paid. If I was to sit on the board it would be with other people who know bowling and are there purely to help it grow in this country. As an example the committees of the ATBSO around the country give up significant amounts of their time because they care about the game. They are not remunerated. Why is the TBA Board any different?
 
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steve jones

Active Member
Sean how long have Board members been paid - do you know mate? What is the logic - there isn't any at all but nevertheless someone can try and convince me although they are wasting their time? How much are they paid? Who instigated this processes?

The ATBC Board was never paid even when we had 120,000 members - travel/accommodation was subsidised and meals when at meetings................beyond that nothing, JUST AS IT SHOULD BE....the TBA is a shadow of what the ATBC was - how can any payments be justified or is this part of the government subsidy requirements? If it is then it says as much about the idiocy of the people that give away tax payers money as the TBA itself.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
Hi Steve,
I am trying to find out the details in relation to possible remuneration being paid to Board members. I have been contacted by one member of the Board directly in the past 24 hours. That individual is not being remunerated. I have called for the books to be thrown open. With membership at about 20% of its peak in the mid 1970s when Australia's population was only around 14 million it would be of some concern to me if ANY member of the Board is being remunerated beyond necessary expenses. Throwing the books open would also let us know exactly where the TBA stands with a new General Manager - Industry commencing on 7 December. So now we have a Chair, Deputy Chair and a new GM without a bowling background between them.
Maybe the entire Board is made up of very benevolent individuals which is what 'bowling people' have been for decades in helping run their various associations from their local league right through to officials of the old ATBC . I do now believe we need FULL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE to the TBA membership.

Steve, your point about the ATBC Board not being paid (beyond expenses) for an association of 120,000 members says it all really.
 
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steve jones

Active Member
Thx Sean the 120,000 membership still applied at the ATBC in the very early 90's when I worked there - just for the sake of accuracy - in fact I'm sure [but memory is not as good as yours Sean and it's much older too] 125,000 was the number during the years I was there before I left to live and work in Asia.

I also note a new appointment at the TBA. Good progress is good news - however I wonder if this appointment is again something required to ensure government funding. Yet what is certain is that the TBA needs someone to boost the membership base and the only real way they can do that is to have a vibrant relationship with the industry. Yet here's the thing - the major chain operator who can influence the TBA membership significantly already has a person on the Board - surely that position is given to ensure support for membership and the TBA ongoing - if it isn't, then why is that person from that company given a free seat in the first place. Let's just apply the 80/20 rule to that thought.

Still despite my curiosity I think this is a good appointment in principal [with due consideration to closed borders thx to the Chinese Virus and of course the inability to fly about] - BUT - where is the money coming from as membership slides off the cliff?
 
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