Challenger Day event gives students with disabilities the chance to play baseball

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Students with disabilities from 22 Henrico County elementary schools took to the baseball field Wednesday to learn how to field, hit and run the bases as part of Challenger Day.

Challenger Day is an annual event that introduces students with cognitive and physical disabilities to the fundamentals of baseball.

Apart from learning about baseball, the students also enjoyed games, an art project, and roaming mascots during a picnic lunch.

“The first year I came out I couldn’t stop talking about the picture-perfect moments happening, like kids playing baseball you know, it’s such a fun event that often they may not think that they can participate in and the volunteers are just so enthusiastic and supportive it’s been great,” said Sarah Midkiff, with Capital One.

About 350 students attended the event, and more than 300 people volunteers from Capital One worked with the students from Kindergarten through 5th Grade.

Challenger Day is an offshoot of the Challenger Division of Little League Baseball, a league for children with mental and physical disabilities. The program helps provide participants with exercise, socialization, teamwork, sportsmanship, and self-esteem.

The event was a collaboration between Capital One, I Have a Dream Foundation-Richmond, the Henrico County Department of Recreation and Parks, the HCPS Department of Pupil Transportation, Tuckahoe Sports and the Henrico Education Foundation.

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