Hamilton Scores Big with Inclusive Baseball Programs

Canadian Parks & Recreation Association
/July 03, 2024

The City of Hamilton is a fast-growing community in Southern Ontario. The City of Hamilton offers high quality recreation, parks and sport programs and facilities that engage residents and visitors of all ages and abilities. The City offered both Girls At Bat and Challenger Baseball, engaging over 75 participants. The City has a large baseball community, but had a gap in their programming of the fundamentals of baseball. They used Girls At Bat as an opportunity to work with affiliated minor sport leagues to open new pathways for female athletes. Girls At Bat helped them create a safe space for girls to participate in sport, be vulnerable and try something outside of their comfort zone. Similarly, Challenger Baseball helped fill a gap in more structured programming for youth living with a disability.

The City had such positive feedback from participants they will be offering the programs in the future.

"City of Hamilton has always incorporated adapted drop in programs into our recreation offerings however feedback from participants and uptake were not strong. Participants wanted some structure to their drop in program so we adopted the challenger baseball programming into these drop in programs and increased participation 10 fold at our pilot location. Participants came because they either knew what challenger baseball was or because they were already connected to our program, either way they were able to come have a great time."

Victoria Kerekesch, Program Leader

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