THE Millicent Basketball Association was forced to make a tough call this week.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all parts of society, the Peter Seebohm stadium has become another casualty.
The stadium has been closed until further notice, but Peter Seebohm has also had his employment as stadium manager suspended, along with a junior trainee.
The decision is a blow to the community, but one Seebohm said had to happen.
“There are no hard feelings or anything,” he said.
“When we sat down and went through our figures, it was inevitable we had to make some hard calls to make sure we come out the other end of it.”
In fact, in a strange twist, Seebohm, as treasurer of the association, had to make the recommendation to let his company go, which administers basketball in Millicent at the stadium.
“In conjunction with the basketball committee I tried to keep everything rolling along so basketball was one of those sports that was in your face all the time,” he said.
“I think we achieved that.
“But in the end I had to make the recommendation we had to cut our costs and to suspend my position, to get rid of the cost of my company.
“We also had a young trainee and we had to suspend his position as well.”
As everything unfolded the stadium looked to clear as much perishable stock as possible, with no certainty how long the pandemic would last.
But in the end it all had to be closed down until everything is once again safe.
On a social level Seebohm said the community was already feeling the fallout.
“I am getting phone calls semi-regularly from parents wanting to know if they can get in the stadium,” he said.
“We made the decision we were not going to let anyone in there, because we are not cleaning it or doing anything to it.
“Our parents are beside themselves – they do not know what to do with their kids.
“It is a pretty substantial sporting group, with football, netball and basketball.
“I have been to the stadium and you see kids aimlessly wandering around not knowing what to do with themselves.
“You know they have been active and playing sport every day, but there is not much left to do now.”
As a town Seebohm said the situation was far reaching for Millicent, not just for the children involved in basketball.
“A lot of the parents who had involved themselves in their kids’ sport, that was their social outlet too,” he said.
“It is scary what it could do if it drags on, how people could be affected and isolate themselves.”
Seebohm has been an icon of Millicent basketball for many years.
He has managed the stadium for 22 years and was involved before that for 20 years as a player, coach, volunteer and committee member.
It is a hard pill to swallow, but Seebohm is still focused on the big picture.
“Basically we have budgeted for this thing to run its course for about five to six months,” he said.
“If that is the case the association will be okay, but the bigger issues are if it goes longer than that.
“The unfortunate thing is we had a bit of money put aside for a project we were about to embark on, but it looks like most of that money will be gone by the time we get back.
“We had the plan of upgrading our stadium and making it more user friendly, but I assume governments will not have much money to throw around for that kind of thing when this is over.”
Seebohm said the committee agonised over the decision, but it was one which had to be made.
When everything is back to normal, he said he would put his hand up again if required.
“In the end we did what we had to do,” Seebohm said.
“When we get back on our feet I would gladly take it back on.
“Everyone was positive about it and there was no negativity at all.
“It was inevitable.
“We had to make sure at the end of it we would still have a stadium and put ourselves in a position where we could get up and going again.”