Belmont senior boys basketball coach

Belmont wants input on new nickname

Move into new school promises more than simply venue change for sports teams

A new name, a new logo and a new mascot are coming to Belmont secondary.

Following the 2014-2015 academic year, as the Langford high school moves in to its new facility beside Westhills, its sports teams will be rebranded.

Senior boys basketball coach Kevin Brown said suggestions from the community could help write a new chapter for the school.

“What we have created in the last dozen years in the sports program, and in the community, it’s really important. But (this is an opportunity for) a new look, a new image, a fresh start,” he said. “I just think it’s a really good way to set it off (with) a bang – a new mascot, a new school; all the kids will be excited, guaranteed.”

The history of Belmont’s sports team’s names have run the gamut from the Wolves for the girls team and Sluggers for the boys in 1947, to the Belmont Braves and Bravettes, the Huskies, Belles, Tomahawks and Butchers in 1956.

An initiative in the spring of 2000 from First Nations students at the school challenged the cultural stereotyping of the Braves and Tomahawks names and precipitated the change to Bulldogs, which still stands today.

“The Bulldogs is a super popular name, it is a super generic name and when we go to tournaments in the States, there are literally Bulldogs everywhere. We have 5,6,7 (Bulldogs) in B.C. alone. We see it all the time,” Brown said. “Personally, I am excited because I want to find a name that is a little more relevant. It would be nice to have a name connected to us some way, somehow. I’m not a student, but for me, it’s pretty cool to be there when it changes and you start to create (something new) in the history books.”

Even the logos for the various Belmont sports teams are inconsistent, he said, with different logos adorning uniforms for the different sports, and still others on the gymnasium wall and floor. The decision was made to amalgamate them all, Brown added, and move away from a name that was a little too overused and may not have been reflective of the students.

Belmont principal Ray Miller said the entire process would be based on input from the community.

“Whenever you do a profound change like the one we are about to embark on, there is nothing that brings together people more than (everyone) pulling together,” he said. “I think it would be a symbolic process for us … We would like to create our own future and this is one way we can put a stamp on the new building.”

Miller and Brown said they’re open to suggestions from students and teachers, past alumni and the community at large. The hope is to have a good idea of what direction the school will go by spring.

“It’s important to respect your history and culture,” Miller said. “At the same time, it’s just as important to have an identity at the school. This (process) is going to galvanize our identity.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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