Player's Own Voice in studio: Where are women's pro leagues in Canada?

Player's Own Voice In Studio premier episode: Building professional women's sports leagues in Canada

No one can blame the coronavirus for this shortfall

Jayna Hefford, left, and Carmelina Moscato, discuss the growth of professional women's hockey and soccer leagues in Canada (CP images)

Player's Own Voice in Studio is the newest way that CBC Sports audiences can get to know the inner life of athletes, following in the path of Player's Own Voice podcast and the Player's Own Voice personal writing series.

It takes a topic-driven approach, with co-hosts Signa Butler and Anastasia Bucsis leading their guests in substantial conversation about a single issue each digital video episode.

In today's debut, the focus is on women's professional sports leagues in Canada. At last count, there were precisely zero of those, and no one can blame the coronavirus for this shortfall.

Jayna Hefford, leader of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, is working on the rollout of pro women's hockey, and Carmelina Moscato, at League1 Ontario, is assembling the pieces needed to bring a professional soccer league to the province and nationwide.

What do Canada's game and the world's sport stand to learn from one another? Both league-leaders draw inspiration from the WNBA.  Twenty-five years after the women's basketball game started appearing regularly on TV screens, it is now the model to follow.

Hefford and Moscato's leagues share common needs:  A living wage for athletes. Facilities to play in. Support staff. Bums in seats. A broadcast deal. But which of these, if any, ranks first among equals? What are the keys to the castle? The discussion continues.

WATCH | Hefford, Moscato discuss building women's pro leagues: 

Player's Own Voice: Jayna Hefford, Carmelina Moscato on building women's leagues

3 years ago
Duration 26:41
Hosts Anastasia Bucsis and Signa Butler lead a conversation about building women's professional sports leagues in Canada. Guests: Jayna Hefford of PWHPA, and Carmelina Moscato, League1 Ontario soccer.