Last weekend’s home Bendigo Bank Spirit game against the Canberra Capitals was a surreal experience for new Spirit recruit Sarah McAppion. It was the first time she had played against her old team, and it took a bit of getting used to.
“I didn’t think it would have such an effect on me playing against my old team, that was until the first quarter started,” she said. “I found myself cheering for the Caps on a few plays. I have grown up with a few of the Caps girls and my time with them was terrific. They really helped me through a few personal struggles in the years I was there.
“It was great to get a win and it cemented my decision that I made the right choice to move. However, I do feel for them as they are fighting many battles on and off the court right now, and I wish they could just play and not be affected by any of it. “I do hope their season gets better and they get their first win soon.”
Given her passion for The Caps, it was fitting Sarah scored her first points for The Spirit against Canberra, a club coach Simon Pritchard was also recruited from. “I have only ever played for four clubs before coming to Bendigo. I am now learning that coming to the Spirit, that all basketball clubs are very similar with the same struggles and pitfalls but also the same support systems,” she said.
“It has been an easy transition for me as Simon ran a lot of our trainings at the Caps last year, so it hasn’t been as a steep learning curve for me as some of the other girls. “I love Bendigo. It is very similar to Canberra in the café scene and that everyone knows everyone.
“The community and all our sponsors have all been great in giving access to what I need and also recommending me places to eat and drink.” Sarah has also fallen in love with the club, and its future direction.
“I am finding the Spirit a really close knit group that included all players and the Board,” she said. “It is great to see so many admin staff and sponsors so invested in the club to make up for the previous years and to secure its place for the future.
“The fighting spirit is definitely coming from the girls. You don’t get into three grand finals in a row if your players aren’t super determined to get there. “I urge everyone in Bendigo to get on board and join the club. The new membership deals are really family friendly and it’s great to see so many families and children at the games. “
The Bendigo Bank Spirit is again focused on a strong family-friendly atmosphere at its next home game on Saturday at 7pm. Every child wearing their Bendigo Basketball Association team singlet will get into the game for free.
“We want to see as many kids as possible there cheering us on,” Spirit General Manager Adam Tarr said. “We work hard to produce a family-friendly atmosphere at all our games and we want to inspire the next generation of basketballers.
“This is Bendigo’s team, and promotions like this one are our way of saying thanks.”