Kids around the nation are gearing up for some good ole’ American hot dogs, ball caps and home runs. Michelle King with District 11 Challenger League explained that Challenger League gives all kids a chance to experience the cheering crowds and crack of the bat.
“Challenger League is for children from age four through high school with developmental or physical disabilities,” King stated. “We are a noncompetitive league. Our goal is to give every child the opportunity to play baseball that typically wouldn’t get that opportunity.”
As the mother of a child with Autism, King says she has seen how her child can sometimes be left out of what other children consider to be normal activities.
“One of the things that really touches me is the friendships that are formed. These are kids that typically get left out. Everyone deserves to be on a team. With Challenger League, everyone gets to play every aspect of baseball. Everyone gets to bat. Everyone gets to play the field. Everyone gets to run the bases. And, everyone gets to cross home plate,” she explained. “That’s what Challenger League is about.”
King added that, in addition to social benefits, being part of physical activities such as Challenger League has been proven to be therapeutic.
The local league is open, meaning that anyone can play. District 11 serves kids from all over the area, including Scioto County, Lawrence County and even across the river in Kentucky.
Last year, 91 children registered. These kids played one game during the week and one on weekends, which will continue with this season. Games are played in Wheelersburg at the Gene Bennett field. Every year, the players also get to attend the state tournament.
Registration is free to all. Those who participate will get a team hat and shirt. Though the first night of registration has passed, it is not too late to sign up your child. District 11 will be taking registration once more from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27 at the New Boston Community Center. Everyone with interest is invited to stop in.
“If you want to play ball, come play,” King encouraged. “We have a lot of fun.”
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930 or on Twitter @nikkib45653.