CHAMPS Teams up with Kiwanis Miracle League
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Student-athletes from Iowa State's swimming and diving team and softball squad have become "Angels in the Outfield" for baseball players with special needs.
Members of Iowa State's CHAMPS/ Life Skills program teamed up with the Kiwanis Miracle League Sept. 20 at the Field of Dreams located across from Principal Park. The Field of Dreams is a rubberized, smaller-scale baseball field that allows special needs children to move more easily.
Players who needed help with hitting, catching, fielding, or throwing the ball were paired with a "buddy" who provided encouragement and assistance as needed.
Stressing safety first, 42 student-athletes enthusiastically played baseball with their special needs player and encouraged them to have fun.
"Getting to play in the Miracle League was a great opportunity," said softball player Amanda Bradberry. "It was a lot of fun to be paired with a child and be their buddy throughout the game. As an elementary education major, it was great to get the opportunity to interact with those kids. It seemed like they enjoyed having us there and it was great for us."
The Kiwanis Miracle League's mission is to offer accessible recreational opportunities for children with special needs so they can participate in an organized baseball league.
The Kiwanis Miracle League not only provides special needs kids with the opportunity to play baseball, it also engages central Iowa in their effort by providing chances for organizations and individuals alike to participate financially and through volunteer opportunities.
Currently, there are 180 Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico. Construction has been completed on 80 rubberized fields nationally. Another 100 fields are under construction. The Miracle League is proud to serve over 25,000 children and young adults with disabilities. The Kiwanis Miracle League at Principal Park is the first baseball/ softball field in Iowa for children with special needs.