This past week, I received an email from Amy Lacroix regarding the Challenger Division of Rhode Island Little League. Here is an excerpt from our conversation: “Hello. I am a part of Rhode Island District 4 Little League. But I also coach a Challenger team in Cumberland for kids with disabilities. We serve kids age 5 and up. We are always looking for more players both in my town and our leagues across the state. We also need player buddies (age 13 & up) to provide instruction and peer support to our players.”
The feeling you get helping others, especially others with disabilities, cannot be measured in mere words. The joy that encompasses you when you see a player achieve even the most basic baseball or softball skill is incredible. Having volunteered in years past with the North Kingstown Special Olympics, I can honestly say it is the most gratifying, emotional experience you can possibly have as a coach and a sports mentor. If you know a player who would benefit from joining the Challenger Division of Rhode Island Little League, contact your league’s administrator to see if your league has a Challenger Division. If you would like to volunteer to help kids with disabilities in the RI Little League Challenger Division, contact your league administrator who can refer you to the Challenger Division coordinator. There are leagues all over the state of Rhode Island who have a long tradition working with players with disabilities and you all deserve a gigantic high five from me!!!
Here is more from Little League®’s official website on the Challenger Division – https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/challenger/about-challenger/ Also, on June 9, there will be a Rhode Island District 2 Challenger Jamboree. There was limited information online but it appears it will be held in Portsmouth, RI. When I find out more information, I will post it here and on my Facebook page. Here is more from Little League® on the upcoming jamboree – “Each year, our dedicated volunteers work hard to provide members of our Challenger Division with the unique opportunity to experience the thrill of a Little League tournament while joining together with other members of the community to host an event filled with fun, socialization, and unique memories,” said Sam Ranck, Little League Director of the Challenger Division. “Our Jamboree events provide lifelong memories to not only the participants, but to all of the volunteers who help make the event so special. We are thankful for all the dedication and support that goes into these Jamborees, and hope all of our participants enjoy their time on and off the field this year.”
Let’s get these kids on the field playing baseball and softball this year and every year. Thank you to Amy Lacroix for your efforts and for all the volunteers who make the Challenger Division possible here in Rhode Island Little League.