How The Ripken Foundation Makes Baseball Accessible for Kids of All Abilities

Jan 16, 2020

At our Ripken Foundation Youth Development Parks, we host clinics where our kids enjoy learning baseball basics, playing with teammates, and learning from law enforcement mentors. At the Ripken Foundation, we believe that these experiences should be accessible to kids of all backgrounds, including special needs children.


Many athletic facilities are inaccessible to special needs children, whether because of raised or uneven surfaces, lack of wheel-chair accessibility, etc., so at the Ripken Foundation, we help special needs kids overcome these barriers with our Adaptive Fields. At the Ripken Foundation, 17 of our Youth Development Parks are Adaptive Fields, meaning they are specifically designed for special needs children, with flattened bases, accommodating dug outs, and synthetic playing surfaces, giving special needs kids a safe space to play and learn.


One such Adaptive Youth Development Park is Challenger Field in Walker, LA and in November 2019, we hosted an Adaptive clinic at this location., At our Adaptive Fields, like at all of our Youth Development Parks, we host clinics for local special needs children as we are committed to ensuring children of all abilities can experience the fun and important lessons that come with playing sports.


For the Adaptive clinic on Challenger Field, we partnered with the city of Walker and Walker High School student athletes, who coached our special needs kids as they played, learned, and had fun under the stadium lights. All our Youth Development Parks serve as safe, unifying spaces in communities across the country, but especially at our Adaptive Fields, local kids of all abilities can come together through sport.