Intercollegiate competition began in 1921 between McGill, Queen’s University and the University of Toronto with the establishment of the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WIAU). Later joined by Western, the WIAU provided athletic competition for female athletes in Ontario. Throughout its years of operation, the WIAU encouraged the development of coaching and officiating, as well as the control and organization of women’s athletics by women. Early intercollegiate basketball competition was regulated by the Canadian Intercollegiate Women’s Basketball League, which awarded the Bronze Baby to the winner of the league. In addition to WIAU competitive events, Western also participated in the West-O-Mac sports days with the Ontario Agricultural College (now part of the University of Guelph) and McMaster University, and the Inter-Western (also sometimes referred to as Al-Wat-West) competition between the associated colleges of Alma, Brescia, Waterloo College and University College. These competitions were phased out in the 1960s.
In the 1960s, the desire for national level competition strengthened, and the Canadian Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Union (CWIAU) was formed in 1970. During this period, the WIAU disbanded and the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA) formed on a trial basis in 1970-71 with its first official season in 1971-72. The CWIAU amalgamated with its male counterpart, the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union, in 1978. The amalgamated organization became Canadian Interuniversity Sport in 2001. In 1997, the OWIAA also amalgamated with its male counterpart the Ontario Universities Athletic Association to form the Ontario University Athletics (OUA).