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MISSION—The Mission Boys & Girls Club has started to move forward with its adaptive baseball program for children with special needs. Boys & Girls Club board member Norma Cruz said they currently have a total of 20 children signed up to participate in the adaptive baseball league.

The participants who have signed up will be divided into two teams to practice and compete against each other. Children will have a buddy to help guide them through batting and running the bases.

“Depending on the child’s disability, some children may need to have more than one buddy,” Cruz said. “It isn’t about winning. It is about them feeling what it’s like to be part of a team, and the structure of it all.”

The baseball league is only the first sport planned locally for special needs children. Soon soccer and aquatics teams will be added as part of the Boys & Girls Club summer program.

“There is no one in this area that has a program like this,” Cruz said. “We want to get started so our neighboring cities can get started also. That way the children will have more teams to play with.”

Cruz explained only Roma and Port Isabel have adaptive baseball leagues. As a parent of a child with disabilities, she said this is an exciting moment, and can’t wait for the games to begin.

The board member said they would be having their first parent meeting on May 20 at 6 p.m. to discuss details for the adaptive baseball team. The director of special education with Mission Consolidated Independent School District will also be in attendance at the meeting. Cruz said this is an effort supported by the district and the club.

For more information contact the Mission Boys & Girls Club at 585-3606.

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