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Baseball program for children with disabilities coming to Orillia

'This is going to allow them to be a part of something,' says local baseball coach of innovative new program
North Simcoe Baseball Development coach Joey Windsor is pictured with camp participants Landon Bestard, left, and Ian Spears.

A baseball program for children with disabilities is coming to Orillia this summer.

North Simcoe Baseball Development coach Joey Windsor is heading the Challenger Baseball program, an initiative supported by the Jays Care Foundation.

The program will allow people five to 18 years old to learn the basics of playing baseball and being on a team. It will take place Saturday mornings in Bayview Park for 10 weeks starting in June.

"I want to bring all baseball to Orillia," Windsor said. "I want everybody to enjoy the game that I love."

Windsor, who runs training camps for children through his North Simcoe Baseball Development programs, says the community needs more sports programs for children with disabilities.

"They run these kinds of programs in other cities across the province. Hundreds of kids come out and they run them multiple nights a week," he said.

He expects at least 50 youth will sign up for the program in Orillia.

"I think it's going to blow up pretty good," he said. "We want to have as many kids as we can get."

Windsor hopes the program will make children with developmental or physical disabilities feel welcome in the community.

"This is going to be their thing to enjoy. This is going to allow them to be a part of something," he said.

Volunteers are needed to help with the program. They will need to present a background check and complete a free online training course. Those who are interested in volunteering can contact Windsor at 705-345-8315 or [email protected].

Windsor has children ages 18, 16, 14, five and dour, and he says they will be volunteering with the program.

"It shows them that helping other people is a big thing," he said. "Giving these guys the opportunity is something we can feel special and proud of doing."

He says registration for the Challenger Baseball program will be coming "really soon." Updates will be available on the North Simcoe Baseball Development Facebook page.

There will be a small fee for participants to cover the costs of the not-for-profit program.


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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