Recreation Dept. forming special needs T-Ball league

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 2, 2007

The Brookhaven Recreation Department wanted to give everyone achance to participate in some kind of sports, so Director TerryReid and Special Education Teacher Brandy Myers put their headstogether and came up with a plan.

The Recreation Department will hold a meeting on Tuesday at 6p.m. to discuss their brainchild: a special needs T-Ball team forkids with disabilities who aren’t able to play with the otherchildren.

“I asked several parents if they’d be receptive to the idea, andthey overwhelmingly were,” said Myers, who wanted to see thekindergarten through second-grade special education children sheteaches be able to participate in sports.

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Reid said the T-Ball league will be for ages 5-10. However, ifthere are other children outside that age range who would beinterested in playing, he encouraged parents to contact theRecreation Department and attend the meeting.

“All age ranges are invited,” said Reid. “And while we’regetting the word out through the special education classes at theschools, we also want to make sure homeschool children withdisabilities are reached as well.”

Myers said the league is going to focus on fun for the childrenand parents, but also on basic developmental skills.

“This is great for motor skills, as well as social,” she said.”It’s a great help to the whole developmental process.”

The children will play on a normal-sized field with a time limitjust like the traditional T-Ball leagues, though Reid said they’relooking into what the time limit will be. They will bat around soeveryone gets an at-bat, then take the field so the other team canbat.

Children involved with the special needs league do need an adultsupervisor who can attend the games and practices with them, aswell as on the field.

“We do need a supervising adult with each child,” said Reid. “Itcan be a parent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, orwhatever.”

Part of the fun is expected to be the camaraderie that is builtnot only between the kids, but also between the adults.

“This gives the parents something of a support group,” saidMyers. “An outlet to show they’re proud of the steps their childrenare making. It also helps to make the community aware of thewonderful things these children have to offer.”

At this point, anyone interested in volunteering to coach orhelp in other ways with the special needs T-Ball league isencouraged to contact the Recreation Department and to attend theApril 3 meeting.

“We need coaches, volunteers, pretty much anybody who wants tohelp,” said Myers. “This is going to be great fun for everyone. Wealso need fans in the stands since the parents will all be on thefield with the kids.”