My passion is Challenger Little League

Posted May 9, 2018

My passion is Challenger Little League. Challenger is the division of Little League for individuals 4 years of age through adulthood who have physical or intellectual challenges that would keep them from playing on a regular baseball team.

My son is 31 and I’ve been involved with it in one way or another since he started playing. He has Down syndrome. I have three children. Two of them have Down syndrome.

Why does it make you happy to be part of Challenge Little League?

Well, the biggest thing that I do for Challenger is that I’m the co-director of the Jake Hardison Memorial Challenger Jamboree, which takes place this weekend. It’s always Mother’s Day weekend and this is the 27th year that the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area has put on that event. Jake Hardison is one of the people that I admire the most because he started this event. He did it because he ran Little League in the Hampton Roads area (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, the Eastern Shore) and when he was sitting at All-Star tournaments, he saw the special needs kids on the outside looking in at their siblings and decided that they needed a tournament. He started the Challenger Fun Weekend and it’s changed names over the years. When he passed away we changed it to honor him, and for the last four or five years I’ve been co-director of that event. As long as it keeps going then it’s there for the kids to participate in and that’s what makes me feel good – that these kids and adults, who don’t always have the access that everybody else has, through the Challenger program get to play ball like everyone else.

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