A league of their own

Lo­cal mom be­comes an ad­vo­cate for all­girls base­ball or­ga­ni­za­tion

North Toronto Post - - News - By Tina Robinson

Mid­town mother Dana Book­man de­cided to start a non-profit, all-girls base­ball as­so­ci­a­tion for her daugh­ter who wanted to play in a league with girls her age, in­stead of be­ing forced onto a team with boys.

“She has been in­ter­ested in play­ing base­ball since she was two, but she didn’t want to play with the boys,” ex­plains Book­man. “Since there are no all-girls leagues for her age group in Toronto, her options were very lim­ited.”

Book­man cre­ated a post on her Face­book page ask­ing par­ents if any girls in the com­mu­nity (ages four to 10) might be in­ter­ested in play­ing in an all-girls league, and the re­sponse was over­whelm­ing. In the first month, she re­ceived in­ter­est from more than 40 dif­fer­ent par­ents want­ing to sign their daugh­ter up for the league.

Book­man then found four coaches who were will­ing to donate their time, two of whom are women who played women’s base­ball at a pro­fes­sional level.

“We have al­ready got­ten spon­sor­ships f rom over 10 dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies, and two com­mu­nity base­ball leagues have just of­fered to donate to us all of their old equip­ment,” she said. “Es­pe­cially with all of the Jays hype now and the ru­mour of women’s base­ball re­turn­ing to the 2020 Olympics, how can we tell these young girls that there is no league for them to play in?” Book­man asked. “I want to make sure they have ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to play, be­cause no girl should ever be told she can’t.”

The sea­son will be­gin May 5, and Book­man hopes to put a fall pro­gram into place as the re­quests for reg­is­tra­tion have been con­tin­u­ous. To reg­is­ter, go to www.toron­to­girls­base­ball.com.

Dana Book­man and daugh­ter Noa Rae

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