North Andover Booster Club Little League Challenger Program

The North Andover Booster Club Little League (NABCLL) Challenger Program will be entering its third season this spring after two successful seasons. In its inaugural season, the program had 31 players participate. Our numbers grew to 32 in 2015, and we hope to increase participation to even more players this year. 

The Challenger Program is for developmentally and physically challenged youth, helping them to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of the Little League Challenger Division is found in the therapeutic and socialization benefits of participating in sports; strengthening of participants’ self-esteem; the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play and the discipline of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play, which are hallmarks of the Little League program. The Little League Challenger Division provides the framework so Little League programs may offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in their communities. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger Division participants have the opportunity to experience the joys of pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements.

The Challenger Program would be not possible without volunteers who ‘buddy’ with Challenger players. The main goal of the ‘buddies’ is to make sure players stay safe while assisting them as needed. Whether it be helping swing a bat, pushing a wheelchair, or simply playing catch, ‘buddies’ are crucial to the program’s success.  And many who volunteered last year provided feedback on how rewarding it was for them to be involved.

NABCLL does not charge a registration fee to participate in the Challenger Program. In 2015, a donation from the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank (498 Chickering Road) allowed NABCLL to provide Challenger participants with uniforms (shirts, hats, socks, belts), equipment, end of season trophies, a pizza party and an ice cream party. It is the goal of NABCLL to continue the program with no registration fees for participants, and LowellFive has renewed this sponsorship for the 2016 season.

If you would like to make a donation to the NABCLL Challenger Program please contact Mike Bono (C:  339-227-0078 or e-mail mikeybono@ymail.com)

Please click here to register as a player for the NABCLL Challenger Division. Please note there are separate registration options for players and 'buddies'.  

Here is a video that will provide some insight on what the Challenger Division is all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c9nl6W5XOY

And lastly, here’s some feedback from a parent of a Challenger participant from last year’s inaugural season:

“Emmett is so excited to play this Sunday that we adjusted our family plans so he can be there. I wanted to let you know. He is LOVING baseball with the team and being with his buddy, Steve. What a great experience for our little guy. Thanks for all you do”