Challenger League believes that all individuals have the right to experience life to its fullest potential and to be in full recognition of his/her dignity and individuality. Challenger League provides children with developmental and physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in athletic and social events, develop lasting relationships among their peers, coaches and parents, and show them they are an important part of their community by creating an environment of inclusion for both their kids and their parents.
The ultimate objective of Challenger League is to foster our children’s participation as productive and respected members of our community, by offering them a fair opportunity to enhance and display their skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.
Ever since the creation of the Challenger League back in February of 2015, hundreds of lives have been positively impacted by it. The league has been growing fast, and we hope and believe that the growth will continue! One of our primary goals is to be sure to provide everyone with a chance to participate no matter what their disability may be. By utilizing programs such as Easter Seals, we want to be certain that no one is unable to participate due to financial reasons. We want everyone to feel like they are included! The players and participants in our league not only get the chance to be a part of a team, but they also get to make new friends and become more accustomed to being in various social situations. It is an invaluable experience for many of our participants.
There are many different activities offered in the Challenger League. We offer team sports such as T-ball, kickball, and cheerleading as well as camps such as tennis, football, swimming, and wrestling. The team sports such as T-ball and kickball last for around two months each and the camps are usually completed in a week. However, cheerleading will be ongoing throughout the school year. There are also many activities going on during the summer. Something we implemented this summer was our “Tuesday Adventures” outings. We met for activities such as bowling, arts and crafts, Zumba, and touring Chehaw Park. Our week long summer camp is very popular as well. We visited local attractions such as the Riverquarium, the Albany Museum of Art, Chehaw Park, and had a day of fun at the swimming pool!
The league is also very beneficial to the volunteers, or “Buddies”, as they are more commonly referred to. Many of our buddies had little to no experience working with people or kids with special needs, but they quickly realized that it is a very rewarding experience and is fun at the same time! In many situations, Buddies will develop a friendship with the league participant they assist. The Buddies are critical to the success of the league, and their hard work and dedication is much appreciated.
When we first began the league, we all had a great feeling about it and knew there would be a high demand for the services we were going to be providing. However, we continue to be pleasantly surprised by the level of interest and support the league has received from our local community as well as those that live outside of the Albany/Leesburg area. We are continuing to discuss more activities to be added to our ever-growing list of things to do in the Challenger League. We cannot wait to see what is yet to come. The future is very bright!
Challenger League, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.