The Maritime Women’s Basketball Association has created numerous memories, helped send three players to professional leagues across the pond, attracted thousands of fans watching live or on streaming services.
Games have been won, games have been lost, friendships have been made.
And while you often look at final results of games, the scores become blurred as season one turns into season two and we await season three in the spring of 2024.
One thing that won’t change and hasn’t changed?
The league’s four pillars.
Stop Violence Against Women.
No More Stolen Sisters.
Since day one, those pillars are part of the MWBA.
Anna Lee LeBlanc is the league’s vice commissioner, a 23-year-old Canadian/Chinese woman.
Her love of the MWBA is broad. And a lot more than scores and standings.
‘An important part of the MWBA is the fact we do not simply focus on the athletes within our league,’ said LeBlanc. ‘Our league is about much more than female athletes playing in a basketball league.’
Teams sport a number of the pillar logos on warmups and other gear, some organizations donate funds to the different league staples and do so quietly, helping others without feeling the need to make a public splash.
The MWBA has fostered so much good since its inception and awareness cannot be counted out as one of the key focal points.
‘I believe our league can be used as a tool to encourage difficult conversations to take place within society,’ said LeBlanc. ‘Our league champions diversity, equity and inclusion. These three elements are inclusive of all our athletes, coaches, medical staff, board members, fans, and valuable partners – every stakeholder within our league can be part of these important conversations.’
All six MWBA teams try their best to embrace community.
Fan-friendly admission prices, post-game autograph signings with children who wear their own team uniforms to games.
Families, friends and competition.
It all works.
LeBlanc embraces that sense of community spirit.
‘ I hope our league and our pillars allows everyone to feel like a part of our MWBA community, said LeBlanc, who hails from Moncton. ‘As a female-centered basketball league, we have the opportunity to impact sport, individuals, and our team communities. At the end of the day, we aren’t so focused on the wins and losses. I believe how we make people feel is one of the main strengths of this league.’