I also rise on behalf of the Liberal Caucus to acknowledge and pay tribute to the Yukon Pinoy Basketball League.
Last night I did have the pleasure of refereeing at the game hosted by the Yukon Pinoy Basketball League between the Whitehorse select team and the Harlem Ambassadors, an event designed to promote clean and healthy living. “Drug-free with a college degree” was their shout out and it was very well received by local youth in attendance who took that very pledge.
The Yukon Pinoy Basketball League started in 2007 and operates under the umbrella of the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon. From very humble beginnings, the league now boasts 150 players and several teams.
Since its inception a century ago, basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the Philippines, paralleling hockey in Canada in the country’s national consciousness. Since the Second World War the Philippines has been a dominant basketball powerhouse in Asia and their professional leagues are followed intensely.
For the close to 2,500 Filipinos who call Whitehorse home, the love of basketball has moved here with them and the league provides a link to home for many young Filipinos. The game provides a sense of community and on Saturday nights they turn the quiet Porter Creek Secondary School gym into a boisterous cultural event where the young pursue their passion for the sport and new residents of the territory can find connections to home.
For any member who has ever taken in a league game, the teams play regularly on Saturday nights often to a packed house. Of course, their tournament is on this week and into the weekend.
I would like to thank the Yukon Pinoy Basketball League for inviting me to participate in last night’s great event and I would also like to thank all the other politicians who participated: Mayor Dan Curtis, Councillor Mike Gladish, Councillor John Streicker, and of course, the Member for Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes. We all had a great time and it felt good to have a laugh, to volunteer for a great community at a great event and also to take a chance and an opportunity to not take ourselves so seriously for awhile.
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