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Challenger Division

Program Overview

The Darien Little League’s Challenger Division is a program that enables developmentally and physically-challenged youth to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. In its 24th year, Darien’s Challenger Division is one of the largest in Connecticut.
The philosophy is to give all children the chance to play baseball in a setting that is fun and supportive. A big part of this, for the players, is to experience the sense of belonging that comes with being a part of a team, as well as the spirit of friendly competition through games with other Challenger teams from neighboring towns. In Challenger baseball, scores don’t count - everybody is a winner. It’s all about acceptance, self-esteem, positive learning experiences and team spirit.
Since the majority of Challenger players require support to successfully participate, they are paired up with volunteer “buddies” who become their personal guides. The players need varying degrees of support, but whenever possible, they are encouraged to be independent, with “buddies” close by to lend a hand, when necessary.
Program Management
Head Coach, Mike Donoghue, leads a team of volunteer managers and coaches who provide positive and constructive direction tempered with patience and understanding. Program Coordinators & Team Managers are Cece Donoghue and Jessica Baylis. High school Buddy Coordinators are Stephanie Maher, Holly Drake, Jenn Keating and Lynn Andren. Team Sponsor is Dan Lovegrove of Recollectics Sports Memorabilia. and The Lion's Club of Darien.
Anyone interested in assisting with coaching should contact Mike Donoghue at 203- 858-7327 or .
For high-school students interested in becoming “buddies”,  must inquire via email with Stephanie Maher stmaher@optonline.net 
We ask that interested high school students and not their parents send the initial inquiry letter to Stepahnie. 
Age & Participation Requirements
The Challenger Program serves the towns of Darien and New Canaan and is open to all challenged players 5 through 21 years of age. Players must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to all games and practices. For “away” games, transportation must be provided to fields in Stamford, Norwalk, Wilton, Fairfield and Greenwich.
The program fee is $50 for the Winter season, $100 for the 2022 Spring season, per player.  Scholarships are available upon request.  Contact Mike Donoghue at 203-858-7237 or  or Cece Donoghue cecedonoghue416@gmail.com.
For the Winter season, practices take place at the Town Hall Gym on Saturday mornings from January through March.  For the Spring season, practices and “home” games take place at the Challenger Field at McGuane Park on Saturdays and Sundays from April to June. 
Important Dates - 2022
April 24th - PARADE
April 30th  - First Practice

Please use the "JOIN CHALLENGER" tab highlighted in yellow on the right of the Home Page on the DYBS.org website.  Contact Cece Donoghue at cecedonoghue416@gmail.com for further information.