by Emily Luxen
MANCHESTER, TN – A new baseball league featuring teams for children with special needs is now up and running in Coffee County.
The league was organized by Michael and Veronica Owens as a way to give their 19-year-old autistic son, Devin a way to live his dream of becoming a baseball player.
“There aren’t a lot of options for special needs kids in Manchester or Tullahoma,” said Veronica Owens. “They deserve to have just as much fun as any other kid.”
Veronica and Michael started collecting donations and equipment and spreading the word throughout the community. Now, they have enough players to start multiple teams, and special needs kids of all ages and abilities can play baseball for free.
“It helps them physically,” said Michael Owens. “The time they get to spend playing, the people they get to meet and the enjoyment they get is unreal.”
The Owens said it is thrilling to watch Devin and other kids play.
“His excitement level boosts our excitement level,” said Veronica Owens. “He is just so happy to play.”
Games will be played every Thursday at 6 p.m. at Dave King Park in Manchester through the end of August.
The Owens said any child with special needs who wants to play is welcome to come out and join, even though the season has already started. Depending on how the league grows, the Owens said they would like to add other sports as options as well.
For more information on playing or sponsoring a team contact Veronica Owens at 931-450-2638 or Michael Owens at 931-450-2636.