The Edgewood Little League held its clean-up day last week.
More than 70-plus volunteers from the Edgewood family, its Eastern Region Little League partners, and the New Britain Bees ground crew showed up to help.
All the leaves on the complex were removed, dug-outs cleaned, weeds picked and all six baseball fields prepped to play ball.
Field 4, otherwise known as the field behind Edgewood school, is used for T-ball games and Challenger division practices. The T-ball division caters to the 4-5 year olds in their first or second year of baseball. The Challenger Division (est. in 1989) is a separate division of Little League that enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4 to 18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, the ability to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.
The Challenger Division has been part of Edgewood Little League since the beginning. In 1986, Ed Beardsley an ELL volunteer at the time, developed the concept of the Challenger Division by getting his son, Dave, and four other children together to form the first league.
Within three years, Little League baseball took Ed’s idea, gave it the current name and throughout the United States the Challenger Division was developed.
Little League’s playing rules were modified to allow children the flexibility to play the game using their own set of skills. The Buddy System was also created to provide a person to assist each player on the team, both at the plate and in the field.
While the primary goal of the Buddy System was to help the players on the field, the program also has allowed individuals to develop friendships and a better understanding of the disabilities that their peers face. Today, the buddy system consists of players from the ELL Majors teams; participating in Challenger games throughout the season.