CHALLENGER BASEBALL: Making baseball accessible to everyone
Baseball Canada cares deeply about ensuring that baseball is accessible to all children and youth. That’s why we partner with Jays Care Foundation and Little League Canada to make Challenger Baseball possible.
Challenger Baseball is an adaptive baseball program, specifically designed to empower children, youth and adults living with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. The program teaches athletes living with disabilities the core life skills inherent to baseball, including: teamwork, communication, determination, resiliency, inclusion, support and courage. Challenger Baseball ensures every athlete has the opportunity to play in a fun and safe environment.
Athletes with disabilities involved in Challenger Baseball programs increase:
- Self-esteem and self-awareness
- Relationships to peers
- Connection to positive role models
- Their courage to try new challenges
- Likelihood of living a physically active life
- Baseball & physical literacy skills
During baseball season, volunteer community coaches lead Challenger Baseball as part of Little League Canada and Baseball Canada leagues. Many Baseball Canada senior teams sign up to be volunteer buddies to offer one:one support during Challenger Baseball practices. Throughout the school year, Challenger Baseball takes place in partnership with integrated and specialized schools and a variety of community-based organizations. Anyone registered as a Challenger Baseball coach, teacher or programmer can receive great training from Jays Care, adaptive equipment, t-shirts and hats for players and a wide variety of coaching tools to support their athletes.
In 2022, more than 9,000 children, youth and adults were Challenger Baseball athletes. And in 2023, we are hoping to grow that number so that more and more children, youth, and adults with disabilities can access the great game of baseball.
Time to register your Challenger Baseball League this year: We are thrilled to announce that the three organizations that oversee Challenger Baseball (Little League Canada, Baseball Canada and Jays Care Foundation) have created a much more streamlined process for Challenger Baseball leagues to charter, submit their rosters, receive funding, equipment and support. All leagues are required to register here to run a sanctioned Challenger Baseball league in 2023: Challenger Program Overview | Toronto Blue Jays (mlb.com)
Want to get involved?
Find out to get more involved here: Jays Care | Programs | Challenger Baseball | Toronto Blue Jays (mlb.com)