Free baseball program on P.E.I. welcomes more children

Local teams often come out to help during the Challenger Baseball program at MacNeill Field in Stratford. (Stratford Challenger Baseball/Facebook)

A free baseball program for Island children with physical or cognitive disabilities is looking to expand and welcome more players.

Challenger Baseball launched its third season last weekend in Stratford.

The program offers kids the opportunity to play the sport in a safe and fun environment says Scott Taylor, the provincial co-ordinator in P.E.I.

“There are no rules, there’s no scores kept, it’s just kids hitting the ball around, throwing the ball around and catching the ball,” he said on CBC’s Island Morning.

‘Great social activity’

Taylor said many local teams and players come out and help throughout the summer.

Taylor said his daughter Jenna, who has autism, looks forward to it every week.

“The kids that go she becomes friends with,” he said. “Each week before we go she’s asking if these kids are going to be there. And even some of the buddies that go — the buddies are the people that come out and help. She’ll ask if they’re going to be there. It’s just a great social activity for the kids, as well.”

The program runs Saturdays from 11 a.m. until noon. Five kids participated last weekend, but last year they had 12 regulars and Taylor expects more people to come out.

Expanding to Summerside

Taylor is also planning to expand the program to Summerside, P.E.I.

This year, Toronto Blue Jays alumni will play baseball with them during their annual stop in P.E.I. in August at Memorial Field in Charlottetown.

“This is going to be a real fun experience for the kids.”

Anyone who wants to participate can contact Taylor at or visit the Stratford Challenger Baseball Facebook page.

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