Camden Panthers crowned champions of first ladies only Basketball league

By Ayesha Abdeen
The first season of the MWSF Exclusively Women’s Basketball League (EWBL) concluded on July 2 with the Camden Panthers crowned 2011 champions.
The five month competition which began in March this year is the first basketball league in the UK to take place in a completely female environment with female players, coaches, officials and spectators.
Organised by the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation (MWSF), fifty women from six teams across London gathered on the first Saturday of every month in Wembley, North West London, to compete in monthly fixtures.
League Co-ordinator, Lily Frederick, said, “The EWBL has opened the world of competitive basketball to women who for whatever reason cannot access mainstream leagues. For many this is their first and only opportunity to participate in regular organised competition.”
Throughout the league the competition was exciting. From the first game to the last, each team played hard and put every effort into their fixtures. Spectators cheered and jeered, tempers flared...occasionally, referee decisions were called into question but overall the league was played in high spirits and good sports(wo)manship!
League champions, the Camden Panthers, showed their dominance from the very beginning winning every game with emphatic style. Ealing Phoenicians pipped Elite Youth to second place on points difference and the London Lionesses, a deaf basketball team, managed to squeeze past MWSF Ravens on the last day of fixtures, again on points difference to take forth place. MWSF Heat came in sixth.
Panthers team member, Natalie Payne, commented, “It has been a great opportunity for our players to meet other players and forge new friendships. We are extremely proud to have won the league this year and we will certainly be playing in the EWBL again next year. We are grateful to MWSF for organising the competition and only wish there could be more of such tournaments.”
For further information about the EWBL and other activities organised by the Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation visit www.mwsf.org.uk or call 020 8427 0873.