Reporting Ukee Washington
By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lots of kids love sports, but those with disabilities want often can’t take part. This fall, baseball is being played on a new field in Cherry Hill, one that includes everybody regardless of ability.
On a sunny day in Cherry Hill, it’s batter up and time to play ball. It’s the first fall baseball season on a new field, the Camden County “Boundless Field.”
“This is a real baseball field. It’s a real dugout, its real baselines,” said Ed McDonnell, deputy director of the Camden County Board of Freeholders. McDonnell organized public funding for the field, which cost more than $300,000.
The 13,000 square feet of rubber surface to allow walkers and wheelchairs for the Challenger Baseball league. Players aged five to young adult are matched with volunteers (also known as buddies) who push chairs or guide them to home plate.
Coach Steve Silverman is in charge. “We modify the rules, of course, to meet the needs of the children,” Silverman said. “We have some kids who are very active and athletic. We some kids who need a lot of support and help.”
Glenn Schulz is a volunteer buddy. He knows how valuable this is. “I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and I remember as a little kid playing baseball, so to be able to give back to these kids and to see them have fun? It’s fantastic,” Schulz said.
“A lot of the kids just develop new friendships on the field,” Silverman said.
“It’s really fun!” said 13-year-old Eli Borgard.
Parents are overjoyed to have a new place where their children can be like everyone else.
“It’s amazing,” said parent Julie McCormick. “All you ever want for your child is acceptance and this is acceptance.”
The field can also host soccer and lacrosse.
The Boundless Field is located at 100 Bortons Mill Road in Cherry Hill.
Information about Challenger Baseball can be found at http://challengerball.com/about