By Jessica Mathews, Executive Director
Arriving at the ballpark, you would expect to hear all the sounds (cheering, the clank of the bat), smell all the smells (popcorn, peanuts, dirt), and see kids running, hitting and throwing—except you get to the fields and find something unexpected.
The athletes are all in uniforms and they are playing, but there are more people out on the field and in shirts that say “Volunteer,” and some of the athletes are in wheelchairs or walkers, while others have their hands being held.
This is what you would find on a typical spring Sunday afternoon with the League of Dreams, an adaptive sports league providing sports training, team camaraderie and competitive sporting opportunities to very special athletes ages 5 to 22 that typically wouldn’t have a chance to play.
Founded in 2007, the League of Dreams has served over 600 athletes with physical and developmental disabilities in Kern County. The League currently has 6 sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, dance, gymnastics and fencing, and partners with several other local organizations to provide these programs.
For many of the athletes, these sports programs are their only opportunity to participate in organized sports; and for some, it’s their only form of physical activity.
Recently, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the League of Dreams had to cancel a big fundraiser and our 2020 baseball season, as well as postpone our inaugural gymnastics season with American Kids Sports Center.
This year’s Give Big Kern efforts will help League of Dreams to continue to offer these athletic programs for athletes with disabilities, and as well as volunteer opportunities for community members (primarily high school students). The League of Dreams focuses on athletes’ abilities instead of their disability and believes that “Every child should have a chance to play!”
Please donate to us through givebigkern.org!