An Accessible League for Awesome Kids.

Challenger Sports would not be possible without the support of our sponsor:

          Challenger Sports is a program for kids ages 5-21 with both physical and learning disabilities. The YMCA sensed there was a need in the community for a sports program for kids with disabilities. So Challenger Baseball began in 2005, and has expanded to include 8 sports and activities offered through out the year.

This is a volunteer run program, that includes the collaborative efforts of the Genesee County YMCA, The Arc of Genesee Orleans, Genesee County Youth Bureau, Batavia Minor League Fields, and the Batavia City School District.

All individuals wishing to volunteer with Challenger must complete the trainings listed below. This volunteer experience training helps break down barriers due to a lack of understanding or possible judgments about disabilities. It exposes the volunteers to the possibilities for a child with disabilities when given the opportunity.

This program has changed our community and can, in a small way, change the world. Understanding human purpose and appreciation for another’s ability as well as your own ability are just some of the gifts this program has given to everyone involved.


Program Goals

          We offer a wide range of activities so that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Participants work closely with their volunteers and often form a special bond with these individuals, and participants will increase their self-confidence and enjoy sports that may otherwise be unavailable to them.


          All Challenger Sports cost $25 per participant. If you need assistance paying for the Challenger Sports Program, please ask a Member Service Representative at the YMCA for assistance. The YMCA doesn’t turn anyone away due to the inability to pay.


Parental Involvement

          Any parent or sibling who is interested in volunteering to help with a program, please contact the Genesee County YMCA at 585.344.1664


Volunteer Training

All Challenger volunteers are required to attend and complete training before assisting with our program.

  • Brief overview of history of Challenger Sports and agencies involved
  • Brief review of types of disabilities of children in attendance (Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, physical disabilities, blindness, learning disabilities)
  • Interactive Sensitivity Activity such as blindfolds, wheelchair, gloves and other training activities to help our volunteers relate to participants
  • Information sharing if you know someone with a disability and comfort levels
  • Child Abuse Prevention, Sexual Harassment and Bloodborne Pathogens training
  • Background Check 

Please call Josh Bender at the Genesee County YMCA for more information at 585.344.1664.


Activities Offered



Fall Sports


Challenger Tennis is run on Sundays in September at the Batavia High School Tennis Courts. Challenger Tennis is run in collaboration with the Batavia Youth Bureau. Participants and volunteers review skills and fundamentals to the game of tennis.


Challenger Basketball is run on Saturdays in November. Volunteers and participants work on skills and drills of playing basketball and engage in games.

Winter Sports


Challenger Bowling is a one-day family event for participants in Challenger Sports. Held on a Sunday in December, Challenger participants can bowl 2 free games at Mancuso Bowling Center.

*Pre-registration is required

Winter Fun

Participants and their families can experience winter activities such as snowmobiling and sledding with the Sno Packers in Oakfield.

**Takes place in the month of February. 


Challenger Soccer is held on Saturdays in January. The goal of this activity is for participants to learn the fundamentals of soccer through drills and games. Participants are separated into groups based on age.

*Pre-registration is required

Spring Sports


Challenger Dance runs in March or April. Participants will learn dance skills and perform a presentation of their hard work at the end of the season. The end of session dance recital is held in April.


Challenger Swimming is held twice a year, April through May, and July through August. This program is held on late Monday afternoons at the YMCA; there are two 45-minute time offerings available. Volunteers and participants go through some of the fundamentals of learning how to swim and being comfortable in the pool.

Summer Sports


Challenger Baseball, one of the most attended sports of the program, is run on Sundays in June and July at the Batavia Minor League Fields. Baseball participants play weekly games after a drill-based warm up. This sport is divided up based on age.

*Pre-registration is required


A family kickball event will be held on a Friday in August at Kiwanis Park in Batavia. Cost is $10 per family.

*Pre-registration is required

For more information on services available for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities please contact The Arc of Genesee Orleans at 585.343.1123