MWBA - Maritime Womens Basketball Association

The MWBA: Catch It Now!

The excitement of the women on ice was remarkable as the Professional Women’s Hockey League opened its doors amid much fanfare and hoopla.

And why not?

Sold out buildings, evolution of the women’s game, solid marketing, a television contract and much, much more.

But if you watched any of the games, particularly the opener from Toronto and a visit to Ottawa the next night, one thing kept catching the attention.

The young girls and women in the stands.

Decked out in team colours – nicknames for the Original Six PWHL teams will come later – faces painted and just the look of admiration, awe and the realization ‘that could be me.’

It made for must watch television…or better yet, going to a game and watching live if you’re in the area codes.

Wait a second, you ask. What is the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association doing providing a forum for professional women’s hockey?

It’s more than hockey or basketball.

It’s women in sport, capturing audiences, media and sponsor attention.

Air Canada. Canadian Tire. Many more.

The MWBA is preparing for its third season of highly-competitive basketball this spring.

A small idea hatched during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has blossomed and is still finding its way.

But the MWBA is far from lost. In fact, those involved with the league should be proud of what has been built.

Competition on the court is high-level. The athletes are present day university players or former post-secondary and professional players.

Its reigning MVP, Kaylee Kilpatrick, was a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I stalwart and played professionally in three countries before finding her way home to be an MWBA star.

She’s not alone.

There are stories aplenty within the league.

The young fans going to games, wearing team colours from Nova Scotia through New Brunswick. Watching mom, aunts, sisters play in games that are tense, exciting and skilled.

All games are live-streamed in the MWBA allowing for increased exposure.

The MWBA’s marketing body – Sports&Entertainment Atlantic of out Halifax – secured heavyweight founding partner deals with Medavie/Blue Cross and Royale. They took a major chance on a league that hadn’t even played a game back in 2022.

Companies such as Support4Sport, Cushman Wakefield Atlantic, Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick signed on as major partners through S|E|A and showed amazing interest in supporting the MWBA.

Each team has its own remarkable sponsors at a local level, but more can be done.

The MWBA is strictly amateur, but has always approached its business in a professional manner.

There are restrictions to that approach. Budgets are real.

Hotels, mileage, officiating costs, venue rentals, gear, uniforms, the list is long when it comes to bills that need to be paid.

It is truly For Love of Game.

With the PWHL off to a torrid start, Project Eight women’s pro soccer league on the cusp of launching, women’s sports is catching on in Canada and our region.

We brag of the love of basketball in the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada, but it’s not posturing.

It’s real.

We host amazing national championships at the age class, interscholastic, university level. We have the World’s Oldest Court in St. Stephen, NB. Wait until you see what that brings to the game of basketball, tourism and more when finished. Wow will be the common word used.

The MWBA’s Legacy Cup championship game last June at Saint John’s TD Station – yes, an arena setting – brought in a league record 1,209 fans.

That number may seem small to some.

It isn’t.

Where else does that number appear for women’s sport across our regional landscape? Not many places.

The MWBA is real. It’s just not that loud.


For potential partners, take the time to scroll through games readily available on YouTube thanks to Maritime Athletic Profiles and Aurora Productions. Take the time to watch a game in person. Take the time to realize women from the MWBA have turned into professional players or have landed big-time marketing jobs at the professional basketball level, major junior hockey and booming brewery businesses.

The MWBA is much more than a final score and who won.

Much more.

The MWBA is a trend-setter across the country, a country that is pretty much void of a similar setup outside of Toronto’s HOOPQUEENS.

It’s time to take notice, time to take a plunge, turn the card over and bet on women.

It’s working elsewhere and the MWBA continues to battle every day to make its mark.

That takes time, effort, blood, sweat and tears.

Something the MWBA has already shown it can do. Something the MWBA has already shown it can handle.

There is more to come.

Now’s the time.

(DWinston Photos)