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LVR Administration ponders dumping Bombers name

The LVR Hangar was busy with basketball players practicing their skills under the backdrop of a Bomber plane dropping balls. — The Nelson Daily photo

Out with the old, and in with the politically correct — or something like that.

The administration at L.V. Rogers High School in Nelson is considering the idea of changing the nickname used for its sports teams, getting rid of its “Bombers” branding that has been part of the school since the doors opened in 1956.

Principal Tamara Malloff said the conversation began during a staff meeting when the Athletic Director raised the issue about the Bomber logo in discussion about athletic and staff apparel.

Malloff said at that point question was raised about “re-envisioning our (Bomber) brand.”

“Most staff were in agreement to explore the idea,” Malloff explained.

“Some of the reasons for re-thinking the logo was consideration for our global and current context and the idea that “Bombers” may not be what our school would wish to represent—this includes challenges with taking teams across the border with the logo.”

The exploratory talks are getting a lukewarm response from some of the students polled by The Nelson Daily.

“I think that money could be used in changing the school name could be used in a better way,” said one female student who attends Trafalgar Middle School but is a member of the LVR Bombers Girl’s Rugby Team.

“I think it’s silly,” said a Grade 12 student. “I think they’re making this too politically correct.”

The Bomber nickname, Bomberettes reference for girl’s teams, have been part of the school since before the facility on Cottonwood Street kicked opened its doors in the mid 1950s as students moved from the former high school which is now South Nelson Elementary.

The Bomberettes handle was later changed to Lady Bombers before both female references were dropped in favour of both boys and girls using the Bomber branding.

The original Bomber name, believed to have started in the 1940s, was thought to have been decided on for Nelson High School teams due to the war effort.

“We’ve remained flexible; we do not wish to rush the idea for the sake of change and would like a broader consult before making any decisions either way,” Malloff said.

Most of LVR teams, which range from volleyball to basketball indoors and soccer to rugby outdoors with other sports including cross country running as well as track and field, netball, tennis, golf, bowling and alpine skiing in other years, play mostly in the West Kootenay High School League against teams from Trail, Castlegar, Grand Forks, Salmo and Mount Sentinel.

The program has experienced success in many sports, including winning BC provincial titles in Boys’ Volleyball, 1989, 93 and Junior Boys’ Basketball in 2001, Girls’ Soccer in 1997 and 1998, and most recently in 2016, and Boy’s Rugby in 2016 and 2018.

Bomber teams also won BC Titles in Synchronized Swimming 1996 and 1997, Alpine Skiing from 1980 to 1984 and Bowling, 1980.

Malloff said the school was to proceed with the name change, the current gym logo that sees basketballs, volleyballs and soccer balls dropped from a Bomber Plane refreshed as would team jerseys and school apparel.

“This is also part of a broader conversation regarding our foyer/entrance and potentially courtyard,” Malloff said.

“We are due for an update, and a more contemporary and representative feel for the school, while respecting and remaining rooted in the traditions that have been a key part of our history.”

Some of the many Provincial Banners that hang in the Hangar won by Bomber teams over time. — The Nelson Daily photo