WWW.NRLL.ORG: Challenger Division News/Recaps

Tuesday, April 24
Challenger Season Gets Started!



Challenger Banner Photo

North Reading Little League is proud to announce that its Challenger Division will return for the fifth straight year.

Challenger is most easily described as adaptive baseball for kids with special needs. It was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and intellectual challenges, ages 4-18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Since its inception in 2014, the NRLL Challenger Division has grown to include nearly four dozen players, serving families in North Reading and attracting youngsters from area communities that include Reading, Peabody, and Lynnfield. Coaches and volunteers – known as “buddies” – take a clinic-style approach that combines skills and drills, followed by modified games for the players. The emphasis is on fun and learning in a safe environment.

Sessions will run on Sundays from 9-10:30 a.m. and started April 22 at Benevento Fields, with a “road game” or two mixed in against some of the Challenger Divisions in surrounding communities. The program runs through mid-June, ending with a Jamboree hosted by Weston Little League, which is always a big hit with families and volunteers. NRLL President Eddie Madden has seen the impact of the Challenger Division firsthand.

“It’s wonderful to see so many kids out on the field having fun and being able to enjoy the great game of baseball,” he said.

“Challenger is one of the best things we do as a league because of how it positively affects lives, and that goes beyond the players,” added Madden, who thanked Braga Landscaping for sponsoring team jerseys and equipment for this year’s program. “The volunteers, many of them Little League players or parents themselves, find it an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Those interested in learning more about the program may contact NRLL Challenger Division director Chris Hanson at chrishanson2925@gmail.com or by calling (781) 439-9031.



Hanson with Daughter


Thursday, March 30
BASEBALL FOR ALL!



Girl Throwing Ball

NRLL to sponsor Challenger Division again in 2017

 

North Reading Little League is proud to announce that its Challenger Division will return for the fourth straight year.

 

Challenger is most easily described as adaptive baseball for kids with special needs. It was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and intellectual challenges, ages 4-18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

 

Since its inception in 2014, the NRLL Challenger Division has grown to more than three dozen players, serving families in North Reading and attracting youngsters from area communities that include Reading, Peabody, and Lynnfield. Coaches and volunteers – known as “buddies” – take a clinic-style approach that combines skills and drills, followed by modified games for the players. The emphasis is on fun and safety while learning to enjoy the game of baseball.

 

Sessions will run on Sundays from 9-10:30 a.m. starting April 30 at Benevento Fields, with a “road game” or two mixed against some of the Challenger Divisions in surrounding communities. The program runs through mid-June, ending with a Jamboree hosted by Weston Little League, which is always a big hit with families and volunteers. 

 

NRLL President Eddie Madden has seen the positive momentum and impact of the Challenger Division firsthand, noting, “Community interest and support for our Challenger players and volunteers has been tremendous. The most rewarding part is that we’re seeing an entirely new group of kids enjoy the great game of baseball by making it accessible to them.

 

“It is truly one of the best things we do as a league because of the lives it positively affects, and I don’t just mean the players,” said Madden. “The volunteers, many of them Little League players themselves, find it an incredibly rewarding experience.”

 

Registration for NRLL Challenger Baseball is now open at www.nrll.org. Those interested in the program may also contact NRLL Challenger Division director Chris Hanson at chrishanson2925@gmail.com or by calling (781) 439-9031.



Tuesday, June 28
A FANTASTIC DAY AT FENWAY
Challenger with Wally at Fenway

The North Reading Challenger Baseball Team made memories which will last a lifetime during their recent visit to Fenway Park. The Challenger Division has been a part of Little League Baseball since 1989 and allows kids with special needs to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide.

 

North Reading was selected to attend the CVS Health Hitting Clinic on Tuesday June 21, at Fenway. It was a full day at Fenway Park where upon arrival the players were greeted by their CVS Health hosts and Boston Red Sox concierge. Players were given backpacks, t-shirts, and nametags, and escorted to the Red Sox dugout. From there, a private hitting lesson by current Red Sox hitting coaches Chili Davis and Victor Rodriguez took place. The coaches interacted with players and families for nearly two hours, including photo opportunities at the Green Monster, and the morning's activities concluded at home plate, where each Challenger player took live batting practice on the field.

 

After lunch and a visit from Red Sox mascot Wally The Green Monster, the team was treated to a private tour of Fenway Park. The afternoon session included a VIP viewing of Red Sox batting practice from behind home plate. Players interacted with Red Sox stars such as Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, and Hanley Ramirez as they prepared for their evening game vs. the Chicago White Sox.  

 

Capping off this once-in-a-lifetime event was the game itself where the North Reading Challenger Team received 50 complimentary tickets courtesy of CVS Health and the Red Sox.

 

NRLL President Eddie Madden shared his enthusiasm for the event, saying, “The CVS Health Hitting Clinic was the capstone to another great Challenger season. Our players and families worked hard, and to finish the year with an event like this was truly special. We are grateful to CVS Health and the Red Sox for this first-class experience."




Wednesday, June 22
June 19: Challenger League Photo Gallery

Reading hosted the final Challenger Weekend of the 2016 spring season, with a big get-together at Hunt Memorial Park. There were also some special guests from the Reading police and fire departments, trophies for the kids, and capped with the arrival of the slush truck after a day on the ball fields!

Many thanks to Chris and Andrea Hanson for their efforts again this spring on behalf of the NRLL Challenger Division! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhjsUowH3nM&feature=youtu.be



Sunday, June 5
June 5: Photos From Weston Jamboree

The annual Challenger Division Jamboree at Weston took place Sunday, June 5, with games, fun activites, and lunch for participants and their parents. Enjoy these photos from the day featuring North Reading's Challenger players:

Challenger Baseball Weston Jamboree 6 5 16



Monday, May 23
May 22: Challenger Division Slide Show

Enjoy photos from the action that took place in the Challenger Division on Sunday, May 22, at Benevento Memorial Fields. Click below for the link:

Reading North Reading Challenger 5 22 16 



Tuesday, May 3
Challenger Week 1 Photo Gallery

The NRLL Challenger Division, which provides with youngsters with physical and mental challenges an opportunity to play the great game of baseball, started on May 1 at Benevento Memorial Fields. Click on the link below to see some of the highlights from the day. For more information on the Challenger Division, contact Chris Hanson at chrishanson2925@gmail.com.



Monday, March 7
Challenger Division Set For 2016!
Challenger Group Photo

North Reading Little League is proud to announce that its Challenger Division will return for the third straight year.

 

Challenger is most easily described as adaptive baseball for kids with special needs. It was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and intellectual challenges, ages 4-18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

 

Since its inception in 2014, the NRLL Challenger Division has grown to nearly 30 players, primarily serving families of North Reading but also attracting players from area communities. Coaches and volunteers take a clinic-style approach combining skills and drills, followed by modified games for the players. The emphasis is on fun and safety while learning to enjoy the game of baseball.

 

 

NRLL President Eddie Madden recently cited the positive momentum and impact of the Challenger Division, saying, “Community interest and support for our Challenger players and volunteers has been tremendous. We’re seeing an entirely new group of kids who wanted to play baseball but never had the opportunity. Now with the Challenger Division, they have that opportunity and are really thriving.”

 

The 2016 Challenger season will start May 1 and run through late June. Games are played 9-10:30 a.m. on Sundays at the Benevento Field Complex.   There are also games with surrounding towns that run Challenger programs, as well as a Jamboree hosted by Weston Little League, which is always a big hit with families and volunteers. 

 

 

Registration for NRLL Challenger Baseball is now open at www.nrll.org. Those interested in the program may also contact NRLL Challenger Division director Chris Hanson at chrishanson2925@gmail.com or (781) 439-9031.




Sunday, May 17
Challenger Division Is A Big Hit
Running To Base

North Reading's Challenger team played its first game of the season on a beautiful Sunday morning at Benevento Fields. The opponents came from North Andover and the day was filled with big hits, great plays in the field, and lots of fun for all involved. Challenger is a division of Little League that makes the game of baseball accessible to those youngsters with physical and mental challenges.

The Challenger kids will have one more clinic (May 31) at Benevento, and also participate in the Challenger Jamboree in Weston on June 7 as well as have a game at Andover on June 14. 




Wednesday, March 11
NRLL Challenger Division Starts May 3



Challenger Group Photo

North Reading Little League is proud to launch the second season of its Challenger Division on Sunday, May 3.
 
The Challenger Division began nationwide in 1989, enabling boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4 to 18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.
 
Rules of play are modified for the Challenger Division to allow players of all abilities to participate. Each Challenger player is partnered with a “Buddy” to assist on the field when needed. Each Buddy's primary responsibility is to make sure the players have fun while learning and playing the game of baseball in a safe environment. Buddies will be asked to complete a Little League volunteer application and pass required background checks. Teenagers and parents are highly encouraged to participate.
 
"We’re excited for another Challenger Division season,"  said NRLL President Eddie Madden. "We had a great first season, and participation has nearly doubled for 2015. The players really enjoy being part of a team, and the community support for the Challenger Division has been outstanding.

"And we're thrilled to see the program grow. This season will feature games with surrounding towns such as Andover, North Andover, and Weston, who also have thriving Challenger programs," added Madden.

The 2015 Challenger season will run on six successive Sundays from May 3 through June 14.  Home games begin at 9 a.m. at Benevento Memorial Fields.
 
Those interested in learning more about player registration and volunteer opportunities can contact Chris Hanson at (781) 439-9031 or chanson@epsilon.com.

Updated information and links about the Challenger Division will be posted on the North Reading Little League website http://www.nrll.org.



Monday, May 12
Photos From Week 2 of Challenger Division



Click below for a Photo Gallery from Week 2 of North Reading Little League's new Challenger Division. Play will continue for the next several Sundays at the Benevento Memorial Fields.

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0Acs2Tlk4cuGr0o&emid=shareprintviewer&linkid=link5&cid=EM_sharview 



Monday, May 5
Photos From Challenger Division 1st Weekend



Challenger At-Bat
The new Challenger Division from NRLL began on Sunday, May 5, and will continue every Sunday through early June. New players are always welcome. For a photo gallery from the first weekend, click here: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0Acs2Tlk4cuGryw&emid=shareprintviewer&linkid=link5&cid=EM_sharview
 
 


Thursday, February 20
NRLL Adds Challenger Division For 2014



Challenger Logo
North Reading Little League is proud to announce the establishment of a Challenger Division for the 2014 season.
 
The Challenger Division was launched on a national level in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4 to 18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.
 
Rules of play are modified for the Challenger Division to allow players of all abilities to participate. Each Challenger player is partnered with a “Buddy” to assist on the field when needed. The Buddies’ primary responsibility is to make sure the players have fun while learning and playing the game of baseball in a safe environment. Buddies will be asked to complete a Little League volunteer application and pass required background checks. Teenagers and parents are highly encouraged to participate.
 
“The Challenger Division is a great way for North Reading baseball and softball to extend their reach within the community. Team sports like ours build character, enable friendships, and teach important life lessons beyond the playing field,” said NRLL President Eddie Madden. “We have been interested in adding this division to our program over the past couple of years, and were excited when we were approached about doing it for this spring. We know that this program will have a positive impact on everyone involved.”
 
For its inaugural season, the North Reading Challenger Division will plan approximately four to five dates throughout the spring for practices and games at the Benevento Memorial Fields complex.
 
Those interested in learning more about player registration and volunteer opportunities can contact Chris Hanson at (781) 439-9031 or chanson@epsilon.com. Mr. Hanson and members of North Reading Little League will also have a Challenger Division information and registration table on Saturday March 8, at the RAMS Complex on Concord Street. It will be set up from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., in conjunction with NRLL’s Minor League tryouts.


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