Significant financial turnaround for OSA

The Otago Softball Association has returned to financial safety.

After posting a large deficit of $29,972 a year ago, the association announced a $60,764 surplus at last night’s annual meeting.

That leaves it with a bank balance of $24,120, compared to last year’s $348.

It was a significant turnaround in the space of a year, although it came after an effort to both raise and save money.

Revenue was up by $62,000 on last year, while costs fell $29,000.

A facilities commitment from the Dunedin City Council, which was recorded as a $34,000 donation, had a significant impact on those numbers.

However, alongside membership fees, major revenue sources were found in funding grants, tuck shop profits, a one-off levy paid by all clubs and fence signage.

The biggest saving came in no longer paying a member of staff, the sport having been run by volunteers for the past year.

Outgoing chairwoman Sandy Wallace gave praise for the work of those volunteers in her report.

She was thrilled to have left the sport in a better place than when she took over a year ago, although she had decided not to stand for a further term.

De Thompson, who had been the deputy chairwoman, has taken over as chairwoman.

Wallace also highlighted the four major tournaments the association hosted, remarking it was the busiest it had been in several years.

Those included the national under-17 girls tournament, as well as the New Zealand Masters Games, both significant tournaments.

Also held were the under-13 South Island tournaments and the Waterloo Classic, an event she hoped would continue to be well supported.

She added the increase in senior club teams from 14 to 18 was encouraging.

However, achieving that growth in junior grades was still a  challenge.

Junior teams had decreased from 11 to five, secondary school from eight to five and T ball from 41 to 38.

Finding ways to encourage young people to consider the sport would be crucial, she said.

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