Tamiami Park has just unveiled the Miracle League of Miami-Dade’s new specially designed ball field for children with disabilities. The field was made possible by the Miami Marlins and the Marlins Foundation, who have been working alongside the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade to raise $500,000 for the project.
“This ballpark is a symbol of Parks’ willingness to make inclusion participation happen for all children,” Parks Director Designee Maria Nardi said. “My hope is that children and adults with disabilities will enjoy some competitive fun and experience what it feels like to win and lose, what it feels to support and encourage their teammates and that they will learn that no position is too small and that everyone on the team matters.”
The field is made of a rubberized surface so children with walkers, wheelchairs and other assistive devices have improved access to the field and experience what it’s like to play ball. The Miracle League is a nationwide program that enables children with disabilities to play baseball and be part of a team. Ranging in age from 5 to 20, these individuals have an array of physical and mental challenges and disabilities that include autism, Down syndrome, cancer and attention deficit disorder.
The first Miracle League facility was built outside of Atlanta in 2000 and now, with the opening of the field at Tamiami Park, there are 236 Miracle League fields in the United States and six internationally. In 2009, founders Keith Reilly and Karl Sturge offered special accommodations to a special needs child to play ball in their partner league, Howard Palmetto. They saw the positive impact it had on him, his family, his teammates and the community. From that moment, they decided that every child deserves the chance to play baseball, and they committed to making that happen.
CLICK HERE for more information about the Miracle League of Miami Dade.
Above content provided by Parks-Foundation of Miami-Dade and Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation