Challenger day

My sons play Challenger baseball.  Challenger is part of the Little League International, and is all about giving kids with special needs a chance to play baseball.

Our games are a little different:

  • The kids get to swing the bat until they hit the ball… it can take 12 times or more! They don’t give up, and keep trying until they hit the ball (with our without help).  It’s a great life lesson.
  • The teams don’t keep score, they just play.
  • Everyone cheers for both teams.

We had “Challenger Day” recently.  That’s the day when the Little League players come to cheer for the Challengers, and get autographs afterward.  And cheer they did… loudly and proudly!  I was impressed that they even found out each Challenger’s name so that they could cheer them on individually when they are at bat.

I enjoyed seeing so many kids asking my son and his teammates, “May I please have your autograph?”  Of course they were happy to sign! One girl was shy and didn’t ask.  She simply gave her paper and pen to Philip.  He said, “Do you mean to say, “May you have my autograph?'”  She smiled and nodded.  Philip smiled and signed.  Hooray for politeness and using words!

This year there were cheerleaders from a local high school who volunteered to cheer on the kids. They too asked for autographs.  Philip was really happy about that! Sadly, my oldest son missed the day due to work.  He’ll be bummed when he sees pictures of his brother with cheerleaders.

As we left the field, Little League parents were making sure that all the kids knew they played well.  “Good job!”

It was a great self-esteem booster for the Challengers, and a wonderful way for the Little League players to  practice acceptance.  Kids showing compassion and feeling valued gives me hope!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Janet on June 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

    My son plays Challanger ball. I love it. We have some great pitchers who are great at gettng the ball on the bat!


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