MWBA Commissioner Tasia McKenna
The word is spreading.
That’s good news to Tasia McKenna’s ears.
Although the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association won’t see its first basket scored until late April of 2022, McKenna said there is plenty of chatter amongst potential players, coaches and franchise owners.
The MWBA commissioner likes the sound of that.
‘We are like ducks on top of the water, floating around peacefully, but underneath the surface there’s a lot of work going on,’ said the Halifax-based McKenna, who is also Basketball Nova Scotia’s technical director. ‘We are talking to people every day to become involved and the response has been outstanding. Our executive team is filled and excited to be a part of this.’
McKenna leads the all-female executive team, supported with vice commissioner Lezlie States of Halifax, secretary Cindy Levesque and treasurer Brooke Taylor, both of Fredericton.
The executive is augmented by a number of other support categories including director of officiating to discipline committee to corporate sponsorship.
There are six franchises including three in Nova Scotia and three in New Brunswick.
The Bluenose Province boasts Halifax Thunder, Halifax and Windsor Edge while the Picture Province has Moncton, Fredericton Freeze and Port City Fog of Saint John.
‘This is all brand new and we’re all willing to accept and navigate change as it comes,’ she said. ‘We strategically wanted to wait until 2022 for numerous reasons, particularly considering the effect COVID-19 has had on society. The big thing is preparation, and we have time to do that.’
McKenna stresses the league is about development.
Whether it’s a present-day university players, professionals or former playrs working on their craft, that’s the ticket.
Not to mention coaches, officials, minor officials and game day members for marketing and communication and other roles.
Improvement and enhancement.
‘We know from the people involved, there is going to be very strong competition and that’s fantastic to offer our potential fan bases in all six centres,’ McKenna said. ‘With competition comes the want to win and we understand that 100 per cent. But we also want to ensure parity through strategic roster building and ensure continued development and sustainability of female athletes and builders remains the top priority. Someone is going to win, and someone is going to finish last. That’s the way it works. But if we can build something great to enhance and empower female involvement in sport and community, we’re going to be much better off.’
McKenna is also buoyed by the MWBA’s commitment to building better communities.
Promoting Black Lives Matter, creating awareness of pride, stopping violence against women and no more stolen sisters is critical as the MWBA builds its base.
‘It has been so encouraging to create such a diverse team to guide the MWBA into what are really unknown and untested waters,’ she said. ‘We want young children to be at the games watching our athletes. We want to showcase we can bring communities together. We are living in such a fascinating time of change and the MWBA is going to embrace that change and offer a save place to watch, play, lead and learn.’