The Miracle League of Ottawa believes that every child deserves to play baseball. Our volunteer non-profit organization is going to build the first-ever baseball field and playground for children with disabilities in Canada. We are inspired by a 10 year old boy named Bryce Desrochers from Ottawa, who was born with cerebral palsy, but is determined to play sports like any other child. He has a tough time rounding bases on a baseball field with his wheelchair because he often gets stuck on the grass or bases. The Miracle field will have a rubberized surface, with larger dug-outs, so that children in any circumstance will be able to play baseball in an organized league on the field. The playground is specifically designed with wider entrances, and ramps so that any child can use it. A year ago a non-profit organization called the Miracle League of Ottawa was incorporated. The City of Ottawa has donated the land and will match our fundraising dollar for dollar. So far we have raised nearly $700,000 in total-we are hoping to raise 1 million by the end of 2014. The Miracle League is a well established organization in the United States where there are more than 200 baseball fields for children with disabilities. We have partnered with the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre which will use the field and playground for rehabilitation and programming for more than 4,000 children in the nation's capital who have different physical or mental challenges. We think this park will be a magnet for families across the national capital region, where children, no matter what their ability will be able to play together.
The Ottawa Community has diverse offerings for children to play sports, but there is a gap in facilities for children with disabilities. Currently there is no field or playground of this kind in the national capital region. Playing on a rubberized surface means that if a child tumbles, they won't be hurt, and they will be able to move more easily if they have walkers, or wheelchairs. The success of the Miracle League in the U.S. has inspired us, we want to be the first in Canada!
We are inspired by a 10 year old boy named Bryce Desrochers from Ottawa, who was born with cerebral palsy, but is determined to play sports like any other child.
Ottawa is a city that loves sports, we love The Senators. We will have a new football team in the fall with the Ottawa Redblacks, and we also have a terrific soccer team the Ottawa Fury. Over the past few years the Champions of Ottawa Baseball, led by David Gourlay, has been working hard to build interest and excitement about baseball in Ottawa. David is one of the key players behind the Miracle League project, and believes it is important not only for sport in Canada, but for disabled children.
I think every community in Canada is unique-that's what makes us such a great country. But this park is in a beautiful setting, in the community of Orleans, just a 10 minute drive from downtown Ottawa. The community is bilingual and is residential with lots of families and is near some of the nicest farmland in the outskirts of Ottawa. The park backs onto a beautiful wooded area, and is on public transit.
Bryce Desrochers is our inspiration. He is an 11 year old boy filled with optomism, and courage. He speaks beautifully about why he wants to be the first child to play baseball on this field. He was born with cerebral palsy, but comes to every volunteer meeting we've held. He is a magnificent young man, who deserves to play baseball just like any other child in Canada.