KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Release/WVLT) – The Tennessee baseball team and the Knoxville Challenger League teamed up for the second year in a row as the Vols hosted a clinic Wednesday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
It's an event the athletes circle on their calendar. "This is the highlight of their year. We play sports all year round with them, but this is THE thing they look forward to. They're all fired up", says Nic Arning, Knoxville Challenger Board member.
The Knoxville Challenger Little League Baseball program played its first game on April 28, 1997. The program began with four teams and about 30 special needs children. Since that time, the league has expanded to eight teams (four for younger children and four for older players) with a roster of 80-100 children per year.
The Challenger Little League program is provided at no charge to youngsters with special needs and is funded mainly through community support and contributions. The Knox Youth Sports organization is extremely instrumental in keeping this program going by allowing us to use their playing fields free of charge.
The Challenger program, which has expanded to include basketball, golf, swimming and bowling, is a great recreational opportunity for all children with special needs. Each child receives a cap, t-shirt and also a trophy at the end of the year cookout. Challenger Sports also provides an excellent network for parents to exchange information and ideas.
For more information about the Knoxville Challenger League, visit www.KnoxvilleChallengerSports.org.