Miners unite as Hayes departs
THE Ballarat Miners have started making big off-court, off-season moves.
Two major changes were announced last week, with the news club stalwart Eric Hayes would be leaving the Miner Dome after three decades.
Then, in an act of unity, it was revealed the female and male programs would play under the same banner in 2022, with the Ballarat Rush relegated to history as elite women and girls’ teams would be rebranded as the Miners.
It’s nearly a full circle journey for the Rush, who originally played as the Lady Miners until 2011 before striking their own identity.
“Embracing a one club philosophy and unity across our elite basketball program from juniors all the way through to the senior rank is important, as we continue to develop an inclusive culture and build our club brand,” said Kim Holloway, chair of Basketball Ballarat and former Lady Miner.
Along with the change of name, the Miners also revealed a revamped club logo.
Basketball Ballarat CEO Neville Ivey said the name change would better align the Miners with other clubs in the NBL1 competition.
“In benchmarking against our peers within basketball and across other sporting codes it was noted that most clubs, with male and female teams, play under the one club name,” he said.
“We are grateful that naming rights partners Selkirk and Hotondo Homes Ballarat remain, with both prominent brands now being proudly worn across both the men’s and women’s team uniforms for NBL1, Youth League and the Junior Elite Teams.”
At the same time the men’s and women’s programs were reuniting, a veteran of the club announced he was stepping away.
Women’s coach and former player Eric Hayes will no longer have official involvement in the elite team program.
“I wish Eric all the best for the future and would like to acknowledge and congratulate him on the role he has played as both player and coach in getting the program to where it is today,” Mr Ivey said.
Hayes joined the Miners as an import player in the early 90s, where he went onto set the club games and points record, before taking on coaching duties with both the men’s and women’s teams.