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Bristol, VA little league adding program for special needs kids, making field renovations

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A little league in our area is making improvements to a baseball field in order to help kids with special needs play the game.

The Bristol, Virginia Eastern Little League got a $12,00 grant for the renovations.

City workers were there Monday morning, volunteering their time to complete the work.

News 5's Jessica Griffith shows us how the Challenger league will work, and what improvements are being made to the field.

Eastern Little League received the grant money Thursday. And they wasted no time, meeting with the city Friday and starting work this morning.

In about three weeks, the Eastern Little League field will be revamped and accessible for special needs children. A $12,000 grant from Little League International is making it possible and at no cost to the city of Bristol, Virginia.

"It doesn't cost them a penny to help us do these improvements for this league," Travis Campbell, Bristol, Va. Little League President said.

But, city workers are volunteering their time to complete the renovations.

"Which is saving our league somewhere around $5,000," Bryan Kimberlin, league safety officer said.

The leagues new Challenger program is for those with mental and physical challenges in the Tri-Cities. "We will actually cover from Johnson City, Tennessee all the way up to Marion, Virginia and it's ages 4 to 22" With the new program, comes a need for new accommodations for the field. "The dugouts are actually lower than the field level, so we're gonna raise the dugouts up to where the children can actually see a little better. As well as we're widening the gates, putting in new sidewalks, widening the dugouts," Campbell said. The grant will also increase safety for the league.

"As part of our grant that we received from little league we were able to add two AED's. We will have them both on site at each of our fields during our league season,"

So come spring time, Eastern Little League will be inclusive for everyone.

"Gives our special needs children the opportunity to come out and be involved in a sporting event. They don't have that opportunity on a daily basis," Kimberlin said.

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