Antigonish Challenger Baseball is a free program that provides an opportunity for children with cognitive and/or physical special needs to enjoy the full benefits of participating in baseball at a level structured to their abilities. Games are played in a fun and safe environment where no score is kept and there are no balls, strikes or outs.
Each child is partnered with a buddy who helps them with all aspects of the game. While the buddies help the children participate, they are encouraged to let the children do as much as they can on their own.
The game is adapted around each individual child. Adapted equipment includes wheelchair accessible bases, various sized and colored balls, bats of varying sizes and material as well as various forms of batting tees.
This year, our group was made up of eighteen children, both male and females, aged four to sixteen. Our group also consisted of thirty buddies ranging in age from twelve to seventy. Like all other minor baseball players, each child received a uniform and played weekly games at the local high school field.
The aim of the program is to help the children develop physical and social skills, build self-esteem, meet other children and families in the community and become part of a team. The overall goal is to provide an opportunity for the children to participate in sports no matter their ability or circumstances.
Recently, Antigonish Challenger Baseball was acknowledged and invited by the Toronto Blue Jays to participate in the 2016 National Challenger Baseball Jamboree. This event will take place next June at the Rogers Centre. Forty-six children, buddies and family members will travel to Toronto to stay at the Rogers Centre hotel, watch a Blue Jays game and to participate in a game on the field at the Rogers Centre. While it is an honour to be invited to the Jamboree, in order to make this once in a lifetime dream a reality, our group requires significant financial and community support.
Funded by Antigonish, NS (October 2015)