With the Maritime Women’s Football League having held its Annual General Meeting on November 30, 2013, the theme of growth was prevalent. As the first Canadian women’s football league to reach the magical ten year milestone, the meeting put forth into place the elements required to propel its ambitions.
Several decisions were made in order to bring about an element of preparation while laying the foundation for strong direction. Of note, a key initiative also involved clarity. The revision of the league’s constitution and by-laws in order to better reflect its growth passed unanimously.
Also part of the agenda was a motion to advance the schedule to an earlier time in the year. Voted in unanimously, opening day for the 2014 season shall be held on April 26, 2014. Postseason play, including the Friendship Bowl and the SupHer Bowl will both be held on June 21, 2014. Compared to 2013, the postseason shall finish before Canada Day.
Plans to implement a jamboree were also passed unanimously. It was announced that the first one is planned to be held from May 17-19, 2014 in the province of Quebec. The league will be partnering with a fairly new women’s team; les Pirates sur Richelieu. Considering the number of French speaking players from the MWFL, a jamboree would help with networking while strengthening bonds with other football playing regions in the country.
In addition, a jamboree would also be held a week after postseason play. The period of June 28-30, 2014 would see the league hold a second jamboree in New Brunswick. Considering the number of MWFL players that give back to the community as coaches, such an event would be a terrific way for young female football players to end their school year.
The planning committee for these events shall feature the four team representatives. With the approval to take on their roles for the 2014 season at the meeting, each franchise features several women that have been key members of the league over the last few seasons. It is a key leadership role that ensures players have a stake in the league’s plans.
Lisa Harlow, the President of Football New Brunswick, shall be representing the Saint John Storm in 2014. Having been a key member of the Halifax Xplosion, Tasha McMaster adds the portfolio of team representative to her remarkable role with the organization.
The Moncton Vipers feature Mel Legere as their representative for 2014. The defending champion Capital Area Lady Gladiators will benefit from Kristen (Shot) Chatterton as their representative. Of note, she was also on the Canadian national team that claimed silver at the 2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds. Such leadership in place ensures that experience is a key factor in the leadership for the upcoming campaign.
Elections for the executive portion of leadership were also part of the meeting. Cheryl O’Leary, a player with the Lady Glads and a mentor coach for Team Canada 2013 succeeds Hannah Hamilton as league president. Hamilton stays on in a vice-presidential capacity. Tina Theriault supplants Saint John competitor Trina Graves as treasurer for 2014.
Amy Salter is another new face on the executive committee. With Moncton quarterback Jenny Miller having served in the Communications post for 2013, Salter assumes that portfolio. Holly Arthur of the Halifax Xplosion retains her position as league secretary.
As the league prepares for its eleventh season in 2014, the AGM is an extension of the league’s commitment towards growth. A strong communication tool, it is a step in the right direction as the league looks toward another decade even stronger than the previous.