|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|June 8 , 2005
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
PROBATION OFFICER DRAWS INSPIRATION
FROM CHALLENGE LEAGUE
local sports fans look to the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and
New England Patriots for inspiration, Norfolk Superior
Court Probation Officer Steven Koenig draws his from an
unlikely source: the team of physically and mentally-challenged
little leaguers he has been coaching for the past six years.
a 22-year probation officer, said it warms his heart to
see the triumphant smile on the face of a child, assisted
by a walker, who rounds the bases. His team - members of
the Norwood Little League Challenge division also referred
to as the Challenge League - range in age from six to 12
years old. The Challenge League was established to allow
children with mental and physical impairments to enjoy
and participate in the game of baseball.
Norwood Challenge League Koenig coaches includes a set
of six-year-old twins, whose cerebral palsy confines them
to a wheelchair; two children who are autistic, a child
who has Down Syndrome; and a child whose brain aneurism
has impacted his physical ability.
kids have a really good time and they just try so hard," said
Koenig. "After working with these children, it is hard
to have the patience for a strapping, six-foot, 200-pound
individual on probation who comes in and complains that
they cannot do something," said Koenig.
added, "There is nothing better than seeing the children
laugh. It is okay if they can't hit or can't catch. All
of the kids get a chance at bat. Some may hit it off the
tee. Sometimes the grass grows a little higher waiting
for a hit but that's okay."
wants more parents and guardians to know about the league
so that children, who would not play otherwise, will get
the opportunity to enjoy America's national pastime.
really a great outlet for kids with special needs. Coaching
this team has kept this crotchety old man young and the
parents are great," Koenig said.