Pittston, Pa. – For the ninth year in a row, the Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game at the Little League World Series will be broadcast live on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s and the Central Susquehanna Valley’s PBS Station, VIA Public Media, and be shared with stations across the United States.
The game will air live from Volunteer Stadium at the Little League International Complex in South Williamsport, Pa., on Saturday, August 24, at 10:30 a.m.
Each summer during Championship Saturday of the World Series, two local Little League Challenger Division programs are given the unique opportunity to play in a once-in-a-lifetime game on Volunteer Stadium in the Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game.
The game showcases the opportunities that the Little League Challenger Division provides to more than 30,000 children with physical and intellectual challenges at more than 900 leagues worldwide. This game has been a part of the Little League Baseball World Series schedule since 2001.
Featured in this year’s game will be Massachusetts District 12 Challenger Little League and Peterborough (Ontario) Challenger Baseball League.
Massachusetts District 12 Challenger Little League, Malden, Mass.
This year, the Malden, Mass. program chartered two Challenger Division programs and two Senior Challenger Division programs to provide opportunities for children ages 4-40 to play in the league. Most importantly, with the help of the league’s sponsors, District 12 Challenger Little League is completely free for all participants to play.
“All of our players look forward to the start of the Little League season because it is a time for them to participate in an organized sport like all the players in our local leagues,” said Marie Shea, the Challenger Divison President.
“Having the opportunity to bring this group to Williamsport is truly incredible and shows all of our players that everyone deserves the opportunity to play in a World Series.”
District 12 Challenger Program has also benefited from the generous support of the Boston Red Sox through the work of the Red Sox Foundation, reinforcing the opportunity for every child to have the experience of playing baseball on the field with their teammates.
Peterborough Challenger Baseball League, Ontario, Canada
Established in May 2016, the Peterborough Challenger Baseball League provides opportunities to more than 100 players in two divisions of play throughout the city of Peterborough.
In addition to the support the league provides, Peterborough Challenger Baseball League works with the Toronto Blue Jays through the Jays Care Foundationto to provide a welcoming space for children to grow, learn, and build relationships throughout the community. Thanks to the help of local sponsors, the league provided jerseys and pants to each of its players participating in the program.
“We are honored to earn this selection to be able to provide lifelong memories for all of our participants and to raise awareness for the value that the Little League Challenger Division brings to communities around the world,” said Bernie Daynes, Peterborough Challenger Baseball League President.
“The response from our community has been evident in our growing attendance at our games, and it is exciting to see that the Challenger Division program has created its niche in local sports communities all around the world,” Daynes said.
Tom Currá, President and CEO of VIA Public Media called the Challenger Game “one of the most heart-warming productions we do each year.” VIA Public Media has partnered with Little League on the Challenger Game for the past eight years. “We are excited to share the stories of the teams from Massachusetts and Ontario with the rest of the country. It’s really the players that make the game so special,” he said.
Little League International supports the participating leagues with a $15,000 grant to help offset the costs for the teams to participate in the Exhibition Game.