A-R International: Lisa Bowes

Lisa Bowes
Authors-Readers International

Lisa Bowes has been recognized across Canada for her work as a sports reporter, live host, anchor, play-by-play announcer and producer. While working for CBC, she was nominated for a Gemini Award for best writing in an information program or series.

She began her career as an editorial assistant at TSN in 1989. She later became a reporter for TSN in Winnipeg and Calgary. From 1997-1999 she was a commentator for TSN SportsDesk. She then joined The Score as weekend anchor & host/producer of Sports Axxess.

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, she made Canadian broadcasting history in 2000 when she became the play-by-play voice for the National Women’s Hockey League. She later called basketball games for The Score, WTN & TSN2.

At the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, Lisa was CTV’s host/reporter for women’s hockey.

She worked as an anchor/reporter at CTV Calgary from 2004–2017.

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I think I may have originally met Lisa Bowes through the Calgary publicist who set up media for publishers I represented, and who knew all the media personalities in the city. In any case, Lisa contacted me for advice when she had the idea of writing a series of children’s books about Olympic sports. She has gone on since then to successfully write and publish five books in the series, and has plans to write more! I did promote Lisa on Reading Recommendations several times, as well. Recently though, during this current pandemic, Lisa Bowes has found a unique and brilliant way to reach out to her readers and promote books to children and their families – safely! – by offering what she is calling “curbside readings” held in driveways around Calgary! Masks and social distancing required, of course! (See below for video link.)

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Lucy Tries Sports

Created by veteran sports journalist Lisa Bowes, the Lucy Tries Sports series aims to promote inclusive physical literacy and encourage young readers to get involved in sports. Endorsed by elite athletes, the series focuses on participation and the importance of play. The books follow Lucy and her friends as they learn introductory skills in a variety of exciting sports, guided by coaches and teachers. Lucy’s eagerness to try new things will inspire all children to get outside and play.

Bowes points out that the Lucy books can be resources to encourage kids and families to try a variety of activities and live healthy lifestyles. A recent report in Canada indicates that many kids do not spend enough time doing physical activities. Only 39 per cent of children (aged five to 11) and youths (12 to 17) met the national physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, according to ParticipACTION, a non-profit group that promotes healthy living.

“Physical literacy is as important as math and reading,” Bowes said. “Being active means you can have a healthy life. Have kids try many different sports as opposed to specialization. Build a love of activity into your life.”

Lucy and Friends

Even though some kids cannot access ice rinks or sports fields, Bowes says introducing children to sports in any form is crucial to their physical, social, and emotional well-being.

“It breaks my heart when kids do not have access to sports and athletic opportunities. Because an active start equals an active life. But you can still teach children fundamental movement skills from the beginning, like catching and throwing. This can help give kids the confidence to try sports as opportunities arise.”

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, exercise is even more limited. However, Bowes stresses that being active with family members can build good habits later. “If people are walking and playing together more with their families, that’s something that will carry over once we’ve passed this.”

And when kids can join group activities again, Bowes emphasizes that enrolling in programs with friends means more opportunities for fun, socializing, and growth.

“Sign them up with friends. Make it easy for them to want to participate. Focus on the importance of having fun. No one needs to win at all costs.”

Here’s an article from #CampCaribu‘s summer reading program.

And this is a video from Calgary CTVNews about Lisa’s curbside readings.

 

What Lisa Bowes is working on now:
In addition, Bowes is collaborating on a dance book with First Nations communities that teaches indigenous dances.

“This is a chance for Lucy and Friends to learn about the power of dance and culture in First Nations communities. I see this as an opportunity to participate in the reconciliation efforts with First Nations communities in Canada.”

Bowes leads writing residency programs for school-age children, and gives them a chance to write their own Lucy stories. They have contributed self-made books featuring a variety of “Lucy Tries” activities, from surfing to archery to yoga. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Bowes has led curbside readings of her books, sharing the Lucy stories from a safe social distance.

For more information about Lisa Bowes and the series, please see Orca Books‘ website.

Lisa Bowes has been a guest on Reading Recommendations three times: Dec. 2013, Feb. 2014 and Dec. 2014.

2 responses

  1. Loved this. Made me want to go and do likewise!

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