• Long Beach Breeze

Buddy Sports starts baseball season, needs volunteers

Mississippi Gulf Coast Buddy Sports (MGCBS) recently held their baseball opening night ceremonies, but organizers say the program is still in need of volunteers.

Buddy Ball is one of many organized activities that MGCBS offers with the goal of providing parents of children and adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in activities and play sports just like everyone else.

Buddy Ball is a non-competitive league, and all players in the league play in the field, bat, score and win. Not only does Buddy Ball allow individuals with special needs to play baseball, but it helps them make new friends - some that last a lifetime. Buddy Ball is open to individuals ages four years and older throughout the South Mississippi area.

With programs that include Buddy Ball Baseball, kick ball, fishing, horseback riding and many others, the organization requires a huge volunteer commitment to operate.

A “Buddy” is someone who commits to help each player perform the tasks that are needed while playing, no matter if it’s on the baseball diamond or on a fishing boat casting a line. Buddies help the adults and children with intellectual disabilities enjoy their time playing while their parents and caregivers can rest and cheer them on, knowing that they are being cared for.

Buddies, who currently number more than fifty, are quick to report that not only is being a Buddy simple, it is also a lot of fun – and being a part of a player’s life is a rewarding and extraordinary opportunity.

MGCBS invites anyone who wants to volunteer to visit www.MSGulfCoastBuddySports.org and sign up on the “volunteer” page.

Buddy Ball games will be held on Wednesday evenings at the Gulfport Sportsplex through May 11, with game times at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Following the Buddy Ball season, the program will offer kickball, fishing and horseback riding events.

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