Challenger Baseball is Jays Care's adaptive baseball program, run in partnership with Little League Canada and Baseball Canada, 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 where they learn to become more independent, build confidence, improve their communication skills, and set and achieve their own personal goals.
During the summer months, volunteer community coaches lead the program as distinct leagues in communities across Canada. 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 in-person training from Jays Care, adaptive equipment, t-shirts and hats for players and a wide variety of coaching tools to support their athletes.
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
We co-design programs with partners
With the guidance of our Challenger Baseball Advisory Committee and feedback from surveys and interviews with coaches, athletes, parents and buddies, Jays Care works to refine and enhance all coaching tools, training and support offered each year to ensure that Challenger Baseball is a best-in-class program for every athlete involved.
We run consistent programing and offer supports to make it possible
Jays Care supports coaches, teachers and program implementers with training and coaching resources that give them confidence and skills to launch inclusive, consistent and above all, fun Challenger Baseball programs! In addition to training and coaching manuals, Jays Care provides athletes with t-shirts, hats and adaptive equipment so they can represent their team and community with pride.
We measure our impact
98% of coaches said that training gave them the skills and knowledge they need to be a great Challenger Baseball coach
82% of partners reported that their child is more confident in their physical skills since participating in Challenger Baseball
88% of athletes reported that Challenger Baseball makes them feel like they can do anything if they try their best
"What I like most about Challenger Baseball is meeting other parents that are faced with the same day-to-day challenges and stresses as me, and being able to ask them how they cope with it. Finding my own little social group that understands the ins and outs of parenting a child with a disability that I could learn from." - Challenger Baseball Parent
"The best moment in Challenger Baseball for me this year was the first day he went to the ballpark and was able to play and participate. Until now, he just watched mom and dad play ball. This time it was HIS team and HIS time to play." - Challenger Baseball Parent