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In this 22nd edition, we learn more about a new rollout of women’s sports products and initiatives that Barbie is involved in to celebrate the brand’s 65th anniversary. We also learn more about the first event hosted to celebrate WNBA Toronto, including new details about the team’s location and involvement across Canada. Lastly, we learn more about the impact of the Canadian women’s rugby team’s win at the 2024 Rugby Pacific Four Series and the city of Kingston, Ontario, proclaiming an official “Aaliyah Edwards Day” to honour the Canadian WNBA rookie.

The stories of the week show young girls and women in sport and physical activity that:

1. There are many creative ways that a brand like Barbie can align itself with women’s sports, creating initiatives and products that appeal to different women’s sports fan demographics.

2. The emphasis on WNBA Toronto being “Canada’s team” shows how far and wide the positive impact of a new team will be. The positive impact will include a greater awareness of the WNBA, women’s basketball, and women’s sports in general. There will also likely be impressive viewership numbers, with Canadian fans having a new personal connection for wanting to tune in to WNBA games.

3. A rising ranking for the Canadian women’s rugby team can help continue to put women’s rugby in Canada more on the map. Knowing that Canada has some of the highest talent for women’s rugby can help propel more girls and women to take up rugby as a sport and increase the resources available for rugby programs, teams, and jobs.

4. Aaliyah Edwards is honoured in Kingston, Ontario, receiving well-deserved credit for her mark in the basketball world as a Canadian. Also, with her pride in representing Kingston and Canada, it’s great to see her hometown invest back into her with this special recognition. 

Mattel and Barbie Increase Involvement in Women’s Sport

Photo from Mattel.

Mattel and Barbie have announced new dolls honouring women athletes worldwide who have “broken boundaries to encourage girls to stay in sports and recognize their full potential.”

Nine athletes are honoured with these special edition Barbies, one of many initiatives in place to celebrate the Barbie brand’s 65th anniversary. The athletes honoured with their special edition personal Barbie include Christine Sinclair (soccer), Venus Williams (tennis), Mary Fowler (soccer), Estelle Mossely (boxing), Alexa Moreno (gymnastics), Rebecca Andrade (gymnastics), Susana Rodriguez (para-triathlon athlete), Federica Pellegrini (swimming), and Ewa Swoboda (track and field).

As part of the 65th anniversary celebrations, Barbie is collaborating with various fashion, food, and beauty brands to release a range of items. Additionally, the PWHL is joining the celebration with the Barbie x PWHL Collection, a line of merchandise that includes shirts, hoodies, and bags. Items from the collection can be purchased here.

WNBA Toronto Hosts First Event Following Expansion Franchise Announcement

Photo from Barrie 360.

A private event was hosted at Hotel X in Toronto, Ontario, to celebrate the successful WNBA Toronto expansion franchise. Known members behind WNBA Toronto, such as Larry Tanenbaum and Teresa Resch, were in attendance, as were leaders from Canada, such as Mayor of Toronto Olivia Chow, Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and more.

During the event, those involved in the WNBA Toronto franchise announced updates such as the home venue (Coca-Cola Coliseum), the team’s practice facility (University of Toronto’s Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport), and plans for a new practice facility in the future.

One message evident amongst those spearheading the WNBA Toronto team was that while the team’s “home” is Toronto, the team will very much be Canada’s team. Tanenbaum and Resch both mentioned details about games being hosted in other locations across Canada.

Canadian Women’s Rugby Team Makes History While Standing in Second Spot of Women’s Rugby World Rankings

Photo from World Rugby.

During the 2024 Rugby Pacific Four Series, the Canadian women’s rugby team won the match with a 22-19 score against the New Zealand women’s rugby team, the Black Ferns, the previous reigning champions.

This victory marked the first time in team history to come out victorious against the Black Ferns team. With this win for Team Canada, they now stand in a second-place spot on the World Rugby Women’s Rankings. This marks the highest spot the team has held for rankings since November 2016.

The City of Kingston Proclaims May 14th as “Aaliyah Edwards Day”

Photo from Global News.

Ahead of the WNBA’s 28th regular season kicking off, the City of Kingston announced that WNBA rookie, Olympian, and Kingston, Ontario native Aaliyah Edwards would be honoured in her city with “Aaliyah Edwards Day” on May 14th.

During the 2024 WNBA draft, Edwards’s selection to the Washington Mystics made history, as she became the first Kingstonian in WNBA history to be drafted.

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Kaitlyn’s Sport Stories Recap are written by Kaitlyn Lehbert, a passionate and driven sport advocate for girls and women. Kaitlyn holds her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Brock University. Learn more about Kaitlyn by clicking here!



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