Episode #13: Dana Bookman, Founder and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Baseball Association (including Toronto Girls Baseball, Manitoba Girls Baseball and Nova Scotia Girls Baseball), and co-founder of Girl Expo Canada.
Dana has more than 15 years of professional experience in news, current affairs, reality and documentary and online programming. Her background as a producer for major broadcasters in North America including CBC, CTV and Discovery – experience that makes her unafraid to call up anyone who can help her, or who can answer her questions. She may be new on the baseball scene, but she’s a force to be reckoned with! Listen below to hear the story of her personal ambition and drive.
This is an amazing story of a mom who couldn’t find a girls-only league for her baseball loving daughter and didn’t let that stop her. With zero baseball experience, she has created a blossoming league of over 600 players in three provinces that in two short years has caught the eye of the Toronto Blue Jays and landed Dana on the Canadian Baseball Network’s 2018 list of most influential people in Canadian Baseball – a list with very few women on it, that includes names like Joey Votto, Russell Martin, Justin Morneau and Alex Anthopoulos.
Dana is passionate about teaching girls (and their parents!) the benefits of participating in sports, and especially team sports. In short, Dana’s approach is:
Toronto Girls Baseball teaches girls how to play to win and learn how to lose. I look at this not just as sports and exercise, but as a way to create future leaders and to give them the skills that come with teamwork
What you’ll learn from Dana:
- How Dana grew this brand new league from 42 players to 600+ in three provinces in just two years
- 94% of women in C-suite positions played sports as a child – HALF of them at the university level. This speaks to the unrivalled lessons young girls learn about confidence, team work and leadership by playing a sport, yet 41% of girls 3-17 don’t.
- How the girls learn lessons in teamwork, and build
communications, self confidence and relationship skills
- Baseball is known as a game of failure. After all, the
SUPERSTARS of the sport are only successful 30% of the time! How the lessons young girls can learn from being allowed to fail and try again are practically unrivalled in baseball
- Only 2% of teenage girls are getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Hear what Toronto Girls Baseball offers its players to ensure they’re playing even off the field
- The important lessons of giving back Dana wants to instil in her players – and how they learn it through experience
- How damaging it can be to a young girl’s confidence to be the only girl on a team of boys who don’t appreciate her skills or even see her as a full teammate
- Why Dana decided to create not just a league for female
players, but also female umpires and coaches
- All about Girl Expo Canada – the one day tradeshow in Toronto that celebrates all girls are, can do and can become by showing them opportunities they might never have been exposed to otherwise
- Dana’s simple way of looking at ambition – it’s as easy as
removing one letter from a word (listen to find out!)
Dana is ambitious for:
The Canadian Women’s National Baseball team – which is ranked #2 in the WORLD! Most of the young women on this team grew up playing on teams with boys where they might have been the only girl in their entire league, let alone on their team. Kudos to all of them for sticking with the sport they loved even in the absence of female role models.
Other sites mentioned in this episode:
Canadian Women’s Baseball Association