PARKLAND, FL- A beautiful and uplifting program is making its way to Parkland. Challenger Baseball, a division of Little Baseball District 10, will begin play in Parkland this year. Challenger Baseball is a free-to-play baseball league developed for special needs children. There are currently about ten teams from Broward County playing Challenger Baseball, including teams from Coral Springs, Coconut Creek and Margate.

Challenger Baseball began in South Florida in 1990 and includes teams from around the state and the country. Currently, there are over 200 kids playing Challenger Baseball in Broward County. Thanks to donations from local sponsors, all equipment, umpires, and fees are covered for kids playing Challenger Baseball. Three local volunteers, Sam Troy, Paul Rosenberg, and Melissa Sackman, will be running the Parkland program.

Randy Hibshman, local organizer for Challenger Baseball, is a big believer in Challenger's mission. "Our goal is for all our players to be able to experience playing for a team. They get to hear their parents yell and scream for them just like they do for their brothers and sisters," he says.  "There is no better sight then watching the huge smile on their face as they round 3rd base and head home whether it is on their own or being pushed in a wheelchair."

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Challenger's participation numbers have increased to the point that they now have two age divisions, 5-12 years old and 13 and over. The program runs from February to May, and games are on Sunday afternoon from 3:30-5:00 p.m. There are no practices in the Challenger league. 

For people involved or inspired by Challenger Baseball, the league is always looking for more help. "Challenger is always looking for additional volunteers and sponsors," says Hibshman. 

For more information on joining or volunteering with Challenger Baseball, please contact Randy Hibshman at 954-345-9329. League information can also be viewed at the Challenger Baseball of Broward web site.