Challenger Baseball opens inaugural season at Moir Park

New program for East Kootenay kids with disabilities has very successful opening day in Cranbrook

A new level of Cranbrook baseball officially began on Thursday, May 10 with the inaugural night of Challenger Baseball being held at Moir Centennial Park.

The Cranbrook Minor Ball Association announced the introduction of ‘Challenger’ in November and the program — which allows children with cognitive or physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of playing baseball, in an environment that caters to them — was a rousing success on day one with 14 Challenger athletes enjoying getting outside and taking part in various activities along with numerous volunteers and instructors.

According to the CMBA’s director of baseball and coach development, Marquis Christian, who was instrumental in bringing the ‘Challenger’ concept to the area, the night was a huge success.

“It’s blown expectations out of the water,” Christian said. “We were [so] happy to have everyone out on the field. We didn’t know quite what to expect and to have stations and the kids running around with their buddies, it was amazing and very heartwarming, to tell you the truth.”

During the two-hour session, the athletes and their ‘buddies’ — volunteers who assisted them in any way required — went through a variety of different drills and games, before assembling for one big game of baseball. While no score was kept, each participant was treated like every other player in the conventional baseball program and at the end of the night, they were all winners.

The Toronto Blue Jays ‘Jays Care Foundation’ provided all the uniforms and equipment for the ‘Challenger’ athletes and their buddies, and according to Christian have been a huge help in getting the program off the ground.

“Jays Care have been unbelievable, [they] provided all the equipment [and] their support has been overwhelming,” he said. “They’ve reached out many times to make sure we’re going in the right direction and I can’t say enough about [them].”

Challenger Baseball is set to take place every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 until mid-June and Christian says that based on the first night, the athletes seem set to return every week.

“I think they just love being out with their peers and having fun out in the ballpark, being part of a team,” he said. “Being assembled with great athletes that are like-minded, it’s awesome to see.

Those interested in finding out more about ‘Challenger Baseball’ are asked to contact Cranbrook Minor Ball Association at cmba@outlook.com, follow the Cranbrook Minor Ball Association on Facebook and visit www.cranbrookminorball.net.

 

Just Posted

ICE wrap up: ICE get one point out of six this weekend

It was a busy weekend for the Kootenay ICE with three games… Continue reading

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Tie Lake dam project substantially completed

$450,000 project raises height of the dam; lake levels won’t be affected, says RDEK.

Homicide victim found under B.C. bridge identified as Hells Angels member

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Kootenay music mentor crushed by stolen sax, sheet music

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers or the Trail RCMP at 250.364.2566

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read