Softball And Smiles Part Of Challenger League
Oskaloosa, Iowa – The crowd was cheering and the players shared friendly banter with one another at Lacey Recreation Complex on Sunday afternoon.
Imagine the Possibilities has sponsored the local youth challenger league for many years, with Little League® affiliation. Young adults are not eligible to play after high school graduation.
“Last summer, several parents talked about how sad some of the players would be to not participate anymore,” said Jeff Morris, Imagine the Possibilities Executive Director. “It made us realize how many more young adults with disabilities we are serving. Imagine the Possibilities has opened three new group homes in the past five years to expand services to young adults, and we are serving many more in other residential settings.” Imagine the Possibilities staff determined that many adults with disabilities would benefit from a softball league.
“This is a perfect opportunity for a collaborative program to serve our community,” said Dawn Collins, Mahaska County YMCA Executive Director. “The challenger league games are so much fun for both the players and the crowd. The program offers important social time, as well as physical activity. Recreation is important for everyone in our community, regardless of our abilities.”
The league was made possible by a grant from the United Way of Mahaska County and a group of volunteers that Imagine the Possibilities and Mahaska County YMCA helped to recruit. They also wanted to thank Mahaska County Recreation Foundation for making the facilities available.
There is a total of 4 games to be played between the two teams, The Giants and The Hawkeyes. Ryan Harkema, Sports, Fitness & Aquatics Director at the YMCA, did research into the rules for the league. “It’s all about having fun,” says Collins.
Two more games remain in September. They are held at 2 pm on Sundays at the Lacey Recreation Complex 5-plex.