News & Ideas
All Articles

Homeruns for everyone! Jays Care is committed to leveling the playing field and making baseball more inclusive for children and youth across Canada

Child in wheelchair on baseball field

Marking the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, see how Challenger Baseball empowers the disability community through sport  

Let’s play ball! Everyone should experience the feeling of being part of a team, and to be a Challenger athlete is to belong. Challenger Baseball is Jays Care Foundation’s adaptive baseball program, providing thousands of children, youth, and adults living with physical and/or cognitive disabilities the opportunity to play baseball in a space where everyone is welcome. There are 250,000 children with disabilities in Canada who deserve the chance to play. 

In partnership with Little League Canada and Baseball Canada, the Challenger Baseball program currently runs in more than 130 schools, 110 baseball associations, and 35 community summer leagues across Canada. Jays Care aims to significantly increase adaptive and inclusion-focused sport and play programing for kids that need it most, with the goal of reaching 25,000 children and youth over the next five years. 

Jays Care supports community coaches and teachers with the training and resources to confidently launch inclusive and fun Challenger Baseball programs. Jays Care also provides athletes with t-shirts, hats, and adaptive equipment so they can represent their team and community with pride. The program teaches athletes living with disabilities the core life skills inherent to baseball, including teamwork, communication, determination, resiliency, inclusion, support and courage. 

And the biggest win of all? 88% of athletes reported that Challenger Baseball makes them feel like they can do anything if they try their best. 

As Jays Care’s largest funding partner since 2011, Rogers has donated more than $10 million to help create greater access to sport and play across Canada. This long-standing partnership helps to level the playing field for thousands of children and youth by investing in programs like Rookie League, Field Of Dreams, and the Community Partners Initiative. Since 2017, Rogers has awarded Ted Rogers Scholarships to more than 125 young adults across Jays Care programming to reduce barriers to post-secondary education.