Little League Baseball Gives Special Needs Kids a Chance to Shine

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Local special needs kids get a chance to play America's favorite pastime with the help of some volunteers and a big cheering section.

Thanks to Little League Baseball's Challenger division there is no score keeping, no outs and everyone wins.

"The biggest problem with special needs kids is their social skills and this puts them right in the thick of it," says Steve Volk, a parent of a child on the team.

Volk says these kids tend to be more cooped up, more reclusive and this team-building fun gets them out in the world.

"They're out there with their friends. And it does seem to give them a little more confidence, a little more chance to be part of the rest of the world, so to speak," says Volk.

According to Volk, the league has been around since 1998, catering to kids ages 4 to 21. Karen Golonka was so impressed with the way this program helped her son, she got involved and has been one of the league's directors for the last 21 years.

"You know, it's great. We're all cheering for all the kids, not just your own. It's like they're all one big team; one big family here. We absolutely love it," says Golonka.

It's a community-driven league run by volunteers and the best thing about it, from the players to the coaches to the parents, everyone has a great time.

"They're all out here for the same thing. They're all out for sportsmanship and just to have a great time and that's what we do. We have a great time," says Golonka.

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