g.a.b stands for girls addicted to basketball. The name was created out of the belief that if girls were addicted to something positive like basketball, they would lessen their chances of being negatively influenced by peer pressure, drugs, dropping out of school and making poor decisions about their health and lifestyle.
g.a.b originated in Swaziland, Africa in 2005; a poverty and AIDS stricken country where young women are highly disadvantaged. Tanya Callaghan volunteered with the Swaziland National Basketball Association (SNBA) to create a camp to empower young women to lead healthy lifestyles. Within two months of living amongst the Swazi people and seeing the girls she worked with become hopeful and more confident about their circumstances, Tanya was inspired to bring the program home to Toronto to influence other young girls.
Tanya is the founder and the director for g.a.b. She has played and coached throughout North America and Africa and has been instrumental in the development of young female athletes over the years. Having played and held the starting point guard position for the University of Toronto, and for Ryerson University, Tanya strives to continually extend her passion for female empowerment around the world by using basketball as a method of engagement.
Her coaching background includes coaching for Swaziland’s National Basketball Women’s program, Canada Basketball’s Center of Performance Development program for women, University of Toronto’s Women’s basketball team, Toronto Raptors Basketball Academy for youth, Toronto Five-O Girls Club Team, Canadian Chinese Youth Athletic Association Basketball program for women, Senator O’Connor’s Junior and Senior Girls High School Team and she has performed a number of clinics around the Greater Toronto Area. Tanya also travels to developing countries annually to infuse basketball programs for girls and boys.
It is through Tanya’s coaching experiences where she met and developed her team of coaches who now work alongside with her to make g.a.b programming a reality. Tanya continues to grow the g.a.b family by having the “retired” (over 18 years of age) participants come back to the program and train as coaches.