The new 3x3 Victoria Women’s Basketball League is working to make the sport accessible and inclusive for women of all ages and backgrounds.
The recreational league began play in September. Founder Luc van Hanuse said not only is it important to encourage young girls to stay in the sport, the league offers a place for women to play once they are no longer in school or post-secondary.
“It is well-supported by evidence that female players drop off dramatically before their senior year of high school – for boys, it is their year of glory – and it is just not that way for girls,” said van Hanuse, who wants to explore the systemic reasons for this.
He has also found that if local female athletes didn’t play in the Camosun or UVic basketball programs after high school, they had few organized opportunities to play. In 2019, van Hanuse began building on the idea of creating a new all-ages league where those who love the sport could continue playing, or rediscover their passion – the oldest regular player is 52, he said.
There is a strong global movement in sport to provide girls and women with support, opportunity and rewards equal to male athletes, van Hanuse said. But basketball still has a long way to go, he added, noting the local league is designed to remove barriers to getting involved.
He hopes providing a space for women to continue playing will also inspire those still in school to stay in the sport and embrace their drive and competitive dedication.
The league plays in the PISE gym at Camosun’s Interurban campus from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday evenings. Any proceeds from the league operations go toward supporting female student-athletes in Greater Victoria.
To learn how to get involved, visit victoriawomensbasketballleague.com.
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