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 25th 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.
Head Coach, Chris Maher, leads a team of volunteer managers and coaches who provide positive and constructive direction tempered with patience and understanding. Program Coordinators & Team Managers are Jessica Baylis, Cece Donoghue, and Stephanie Maher. High school Buddy Coordinators are Jessica Bennett, Holly Drake, Jenn Keating, and Lynne Andren. Team sponsors are Dan Lovegrove of Recollectics Sports Memorabilia and The Lion's Club of Darien.
Anyone interested in assisting with coaching should contact Chris Maher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For high-school students interested in becoming buddies, please inquire via email to Stephanie Maher at email@example.com. We ask that interested high school students and not their parents send the initial inquiry letter to Stephanie.
Age & Participation Requirements
The Challenger Program serves the towns of Darien and New Canaan and is open to all challenged players from 5 to 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, Wilton, Westport, Ridgefield and Fairfield.
The program fee is $50 for the Winter season, $100 for the 2023 Spring season, per player. Scholarships are available upon request. Contact Chris Maher at 917-509-5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie Maher at email@example.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 Saturday's and Sunday's from April to June.
Important Dates - 2023
April 23rd - PARADE
April 29th - First Practice
Please use the "JOIN CHALLENGER" tab highlighted in yellow on the right of the Home Page on the DYBS.org website. Contact Stephanie Maher at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.