The Darien Little League's Challenger Division is dedicated to providing every child, regardless of his or her ability or disability, the chance to experience the love of baseball and to partake in America's favorite pastime.

The program, which is open to children in New Canaan, allows developmentally and physically challenged youth to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities.

Since the majority of Challenger players require support to successfully participate, they are paired up with volunteer "buddies" who become their personal guides.

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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.

The program's philosophy is to give all children the chance to play baseball in a fun and supportive setting.

The program fosters a 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 and everyone is a winner. It's all about acceptance, self-esteem, positive learning experiences and team spirit.

The program is open to all challenged players ages 5 to 18 years of age in the towns of Darien and New Canaan.

Players are grouped according to age on one of two teams, each playing once per weekend.

Practices and home games take place on the Challenger-dedicated field at McGuane Park in Darien.

Away games this season are scheduled to be played in Greenwich, Stamford, Fairfield and Wilton.

Registration for the spring 2012 season is under way and will close on April 13. The fee for the seven-week session, which runs from April 28 through June 10, is $150 (includes a full uniform). Register at www.dybs.org. Contact Annmarie Medwid (ctmedwid@optonline.net) or Beth Siemers (bsiemers@optonline.net) for additional information.