City of Walker, Louisiana Parks and Recreation

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Challenger Program

“There is something about playing the game that lights up a person’s eyes. But for children and adults facing serious physical and mental disabilities that opportunity can often be difficult to achieve.”

Walker Parks and Recreation Challenger Program removes the barriers that keep children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities off playing fields & courts and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite sports and activities. Challenger teams play on custom-designed artificial turf fields and sport courts. This allows for participation and to accommodate wheelchairs and other assertive devices while helping to prevent injuries. The rules and play are adapted to the Challenger Program.

But it’s more than playing a game. It is about making new friends, building self-esteem, and being treated just like other athletes. To help the athletes, the Challengers Program uses a “buddy” system, pairing each player with an able-bodied peer. The results are a bond that cannot be described. The Challenger Program serves children and adults with any physical or mental disabilities, which causes them to be excluded, whether intentionally or not, from conventional sport leagues and programs.