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Sports Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018 - 4:31:27 PM

New Lease of Life for NP Women’s Basketball Association
By Serena Williams
Feb 14, 2018 - 2:08:46 PM

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Consolidated Water Corporation (CWCO) and The New Providence Women’s Basketball Association (NPWBA) have been working together from the inception of the junior program to help the growth and development of women’s basketball in The Bahamas. L to R: Jeffrey Burrows, CWCO Operations Manager; Mynez Cargill-Sherman, NPWBA President; and Welliya Cargill, CWCO Accounts Manager.

NASSAU, N.P - The New Providence Women’s Basketball Association (NPWBA) is the only remaining female league, formed out of the New Providence Basketball Association in 2003 when Mynez Cargill-Sherman spearheaded a breakaway when she found the women leagues lacked support and took a backseat to those of the men.

“Right now women’s basketball is still struggling,” said Ms. Cargill-Sherman, outgoing President of NPWBA. “However, with sponsorship from Consolidated Water Corporation (CWCO) we’ve developed a promising junior program which will eventually feed into the women’s league.”

“There are still only one or two gyms in the country where we can play, and there are so many men teams involved that women get squeezed out. It’s the reason we initially formed the NPWBA – they found very little time to accommodate us, and we got side-lined, and nothing’s changed.”

She recalls various islands having women’s leagues of their own when she played in her younger years. But now, it has “practically died out as people got up in age and retired from the game.” As part of the solution, the NPWBA decided to revive participation in a younger demographic.

“That’s why two years ago we established the junior program, sponsored by CWCO.

“The raw talent we see just needs to be developed. The year before last was the first time in a while The Bahamas was able to fend off a junior national team, and we won that tournament, and I think that was a direct result of the junior development program,” said Cargill-Sherman.
The junior program trains athletes from primary school age up to 18-years-old. Students are recruited to form the program’s usual seven teams of 13 players each, who compete in an average of 30 tournaments per year. The season runs from November until April, and their latest tournament is set for February 17th and 18th.            

CWCO Accounts Manager Welliya Cargill said: “We were proud to be an initial sponsor for the NPWBA’s junior program, and to keep that sponsorship going for three years. It’s an incredible thing for women’s basketball and young females in general, because it creates an avenue for them to feel empowered in what usually tends to be a male-centric sport.”

Cargill-Sherman echoed this sentiment. “I think the women have been on their own for a long time and that’s why they continue to struggle. We’re practically holding on by a thread. The lack of support is why we’re at the point where New Providence is the only women’s basketball association left while the men have leagues in Bimini, Eleuthera, and Andros.

“I’m highly appreciative of CWCO. Without them, I don’t think the junior program would have even been established. There is a lot of work to take on, but I feel like our biggest challenge is getting the Federation to support it. There are those corporate sponsors out there, like CWCO, that are willing to put into the program, and that was the point I wanted to make to the Federation: that a junior program could be viable, and it is supported. What I really wanted to do was show them that it’s all possible, and I think I’ve done that.”    

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