IF you’re an eagle-eyed reader, you may have noticed a slight change among these pages in recent weeks.
For years, the Bendigo Braves and Lady Braves have been known as such, the two sides that represent the club in the SEABL.
The club is the Bendigo Braves, the juniors are known as the junior Braves and the singlets still say Braves, not the Lady Braves.
So come the start of this season, it was a Braves player who posed the question: Why not just call the team the Braves women?
Have a common name for both teams, with the obvious distinction of which of the men’s and women’s competitions they play in being their difference.
The Weekly will henceforth be referring to the Lady Braves as the Braves women’s team, and the Bendigo Advertiser has done the same.
Why? The players themselves asked for it. And, why not?
The Bendigo Basketball Association could make the change quite easily. Albeit not until after the current season.
The teams use a common logo, and the only time the name is actually noted is on the scoresheet.
The recent rise of AFLW has seen clubs stick to their monicker for their women’s teams. Carlton is the Blues, the Western Bulldogs named accordingly and Adelaide doesn’t field the Lady Crows.
There are no Dandenong Lady Rangers in the WNBL, or Melbourne Lady Tigers in SEABL.
Ballarat went as far as to call their two sides completely different things – the Miners for the men, the Rush for the association’s women’s lineup.
Given Bendigo’s logo is clearly the image of a man, that would make even more sense.
Similar to Canberra and Sydney Uni, could we have a “Spirit academy” side playing in SEABL?
The argument against that is one of preserving history, which is understandable. But when your logo and your mascot are clearly male, it doesn’t scream out that the women’s program is being put to centre stage.
The club could do even more to push the cause of the women’s team.
Every time there is a double-header, the men play in the late game. No matter who they are playing, and their ladder
Even when that matchup comes against a club with a strong women’s program and a weaker men’s team, the men play at 8pm in the primetime matchup.
Why? Anyone who has been to a Braves game recently would know that the crowds aren’t exactly immense, certainly not enough to justify it as a huge loss of revenue.
Surely the women’s program would benefit from some main game exposure, and the young players from playing in front of the bigger crowd.
You might wonder why it matters. It’s just a name. But it’s more than that, it’s a chance to move the whole women’s program into the spotlight.
It’s easier. It makes sense. The players want it, I’m sure there’s some fans that do as well.
BBA, the ball’s in your court.
– Joel Peterson