Spreading the Word

Special Olympics, Ending the R-word, Getting Involved

Take me out to the ballgame

Baseball is America’s favorite past-time and thanks to the Challenger Division of Little League, kids with intellectual disabilities can take the field too!

Challenger League has over 900 divisions world-wide and more than 30,000 players.

When I was in high school, I volunteered with the Challenger League for 3 years.  I looked forward to it every single Sunday. Each player was teamed up with a Buddy volunteer who went up to bat, played the field and ran the bases with them. We were there for encouragement and support.

Every week I had a different partner. One week, my partner was Andrew. Andrew has down syndrome and is probably the cutest kid ever! Our first time up at bat, Andrew hit a a single to shortstop and as soon as we stepped on first base I went to give Andrew a high-five and he turned to the side, pointed at his cheek and asked for a kiss!

I also partnered up with the catcher, Robbie. Robbie came to the field every Sunday, ready to play! He even came into the high school’s athletic office just to talk baseball with us.

I volunteered with the Challenger League because I love these kids, but I know I have made a difference when I came off the field after my own softball and field hockey games to see Alex cheering me on from the sidelines. Alex, is in a wheelchair and  doesn’t talk but that doesn’t put a stop to his love for sports. Alex and his parents came to almost every one of my high school games, and nothing made his face light up more than when I gave him a high-five after the game.

Special Olympics offers so many great opportunities. Here is a video of the 5th Annual Medford Invitational Challenger Day Tournament.

http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/17760499/medford-invitational-tournament-challenger-day

Video Credit: www.myfoxboston.com

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Special Olympics, Ending the R-word, Getting Involved

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