Women need incentive to stay in game

Demons Breezers guard Rachel Rodger said Colac Basketball Association’s three-team A Grade competition was failing to appeal to the city’s best female players.

Rodger has proposed the Colac, Camperdown and Timboon associations team up to create a district representative season, with potentially two teams from each association playing weekly.

She said such a competition could lead to the associations entering a combined team in the Country Basketball League women’s south-west conference.

Colac has a men’s team in the south-west conference, but no women’s team.

“It has been disappointing the way it had dropped off,” Rodger said of the CBA women’s competition.

“Even when you look back a few years ago it was stronger than it is now. These kids move away and you lose good players.

“There needs to be an incentive for girls to play. To be merging a comp with B and C grade, no disrespect to those players, but it’s not good for basketball in Colac.”

Rodger said officials needed to find out if players would be interested in either a multi-association district competition, or uniting to enter a south-west conference team.

She said the Kookas taking on Mount Gambier, Hamilton, Warrnambool and Terang had created interest in Colac men’s basketball.

“I look at the way it has reinvigorated men’s basketball. For the women it’d be exciting,” she said.

“But the only way to do that is to draw on regional players, so you could form a district competition first.

“If definitely needs something and people thinking outside the square.”

Camperdown Amateur Basketball Association president Gary Stephens said he backed Rodger’s proposal.

But Stephens said he also wanted to see a district men’s competition, featuring teams from Camperdown, Timboon, Colac and Terang.

“I’d like it to be both men and women. I know you have the Kookas running but surely there is second tier of men that could play us,” he said

Stephens said officials could extend the competition to include juniors, proposing a Friday night festival of basketball.

“The reason I use Friday night is a lot of basketball stadiums lie dormant,” he said.

“If you have them on Friday night and you run under-12, under-14, under-16 and then men’s and women’s, you could have a real good night of basketball.

“Then people would come.”

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