The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

February 18, 2013

Miracle League meets needs of disabled athletes

(Continued)

Buddies might be called on to assist a player who uses a walker or one who needs help swinging a bat. Whether they're stationed in the infield or the outfield, the buddies also provide encouragement simply by cheering.

"Some of the kids actually hit it pretty hard," McKinley said. "The bottom line is we want to get as many kids out there playing as we can because it's more fun for them. We're here to provide something for them, a game that we want them to come play."

Tesney Davis and her husband, Greg, have a 6-year-old son, Clayton, and they adopted Krill, a 6-year-old with Down syndrome.

Krill is a player, and Clayton is a buddy for Miracle League baseball games.

"For us as a family, the thing we enjoyed the most about the Miracle League is that it allows Krill to be like every other child," Tesney Davis said. "He is already kind of separated from other children because of his disability. I think the perception that people with disabilities are extra fragile is a big myth. Krill is like any other kids. He just learns a little bit slower and has to take a little extra time.

"I think Krill recognized the fact that he is getting a lot of positive encouragement from the coaches, the spectators and all the buddies out there. He loved that and thrived on that as most kids do. It means the world to us, the fact that he can play with his brother alongside him. Seeing Krill try his best and seeing him celebrate when he got to home plate, as a mom you get really proud because you get to experience that with your child. Without the Miracle League, it might not be possible for Krill to have that experience."

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