Hitting a Home Run for Lubbock's Disabled - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/5/02

Hitting a Home Run for Lubbock's Disabled

The McAllister Park project will also include a brand new Challenger Little League park. It is a baseball field designed especially for handicapped kids. 11-year-old Trase Fritz has been playing baseball for seven years and says it is one of his favorite sports. "You get to catch the ball a lot, and you get to cheer on your teammates," Trase explained why he loves baseball so much.

Trase is just one of hundreds of kids with disabilities who love to play sports. Five-year-old Bailey Davenport loves to play anything that will allow her to run. "I like soccer, basketball, cheerleading," Bailey said in a coy tone.

Both Bailey and Trase play in the Challenger Little League of Lubbock. It is an organization designed specifically for kids with special needs. But one thing has been missing: a sporting venue to call their own. CLL Board member Patty Vannoy says not for long because they're getting grant money to build a rubber-based field in McAllister Park.

"This area out here will match the other three fields that are here. We'll have bleachers on both sides, and we'll have a score keeper house and fencing and lighting. We're also looking at other sports activities that we're going be able to utilize the field for, like wheelchair basketball, soccer, and tennis," said Vannoy.

"It's going to be very easy for all the other kids to run and play," Trase said. So, getting a playing field to call their own is a home run in itself. One even Barry Bonds couldn't even compete with.

There are 126 children who play with the Challenger Little League. Right now, they play at the Southwest Parks and cannot play until the baseball regular season is over. Construction for the Challenger Little League park will begin sometime next year.

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