Indoor baseball camp opens the sport up to kids with disabilities
Edmonton children and their families remember a rewarding baseball season as the first program of its kind came to an end at Kinsmen Field House.
Community Park Little League has partnered with Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton to allow children with physical and cognitive disabilities to play baseball during the winter months.
“We’re just trying to break down some barriers for kids with disabilities,” said Tully Lutz, president of Community Park Little League.
The program works through various exercises and games to encourage children with disabilities at all levels to become active.
“Basically, we’re doing all kinds of different bucket drills here and things that increase their hand-eye coordination — just increase their fun,” Lutz said.
Family Liaison Worker at Children’s Autism Services in Edmonton, Scott Wilson says that often when children are diagnosed with disabilities, there is an emphasis on the clinical side of things, but little on the experience and community involvement .
The opportunity to create this community was seized, however, when Community Park Little League contacted Children’s Autism Services Edmonton last summer to create the new program.
“They understand baseball. We understand autism. We understand how to accommodate a child’s needs so they can come and participate and have a good on-field experience,” Wilson said.
Wilson says the new program has provided a sense of community for many of his young athletes.
“They feel like they’re part of a team, part of the community,” Wilson said.
“Many times they’ve gone to baseball games and watched their older sibling play baseball, and now they’re lucky enough to realize that this is a place for them.”
The indoor baseball camp wrapped up its first winter schedule on Sunday.