By Thomas Harding and Cody Ulm / MLB.com
DENVER — The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer Society’s PLAY Campaign stopped at Coors Field Friday morning, allowing Rockies players to help teach children with intellectual and developmental disabilities the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
The PLAY Campaign teamed up with The Arc, an advocacy organization for I/DD youths, to provide children served by The Arc of Colorado, The Arc of Pikes Peak, the Arc of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, the Arc of Larimer County and the Arc of Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties with this unique opportunity.
Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer and right-handers Jhoulys Chacin and Jordan Lyles guided participants through a series of pitching and hitting activities before giving the children a tour of the Rockies’ clubhouse.
“The players were unbelievable,” The Arc communications manager Suniti Bal said. “They were so good and so hands on.”
Lyles and Chacin ran the accuracy practice portion of the process while Cuddyer lead the children in hitting off a tee against a giant, point-based target on the right-field, out-of-town scoreboard. Afterwards, the children were taught the importance of proper hygiene and other benefits of a healthy life.
“Physical activity and healthy living habits are critical for all children, including those with significant disabilities,” said executive director of the Arc of Colorado Marijo Rymer. “We are thankful that the Colorado Rockies and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society have chosen to include the Arc in this year’s program.”
PLAY, standing for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth, is a national public awareness campaign of PBATS in conjunction with MLB Charities and the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The PLAY campaign will host events in all 30 Major-League ballparks this season with the next stop being the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field on Saturday.
For more information on how you can get involved with the Arc foundation, visit TheArc.org.