Chicago’s sports teams open doors to kids with disabilities

One-day, free sports camps are scheduled this summer for kids, 6-18, with physical or mental disabilities.

Camp Dates

  • Chicago Fire (May, date TBD), Toyota Park
  • Chicago Cubs (June 17), California Park
  • Chicago White Sox (July 30), Miracle Fields at Mt. Greenwood
    Park
  • Chicago Bears (August, date and location TBD)
  • Chicago Bulls (Fall, date and location TBD)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (Fall, date and location TBD)

The Chicago Cubs and the city’s five other professional sports teams will offer one-day camps this summer and fall for kids with mental or physical disabilities.

The interactive camps feature basic skills adapted to children and their abilities. The two-hour camps include instruction, use of equipment and wrap-up with a lunch or snack. Professional athletes and mascots usually make appearances, says Jody Grimaldi, spokesperson for Variety of Illinois, which hosts the clinics along with the National Sports Center for the Disabled and Chicago sports teams.

“It give these children the same chance as able-bodied children,” Grimaldi says. “Really, it’s all about having fun. We set up volunteers to field their hits and tees for kids in wheelchairs.”

The camp season includes a Chicago Fire soccer clinic, plus Cubs and White Sox baseball camps. A Chicago Bears camp will be held in August at the team’s training facility in Bourbonnais, while Bulls and Blackhawks camps are slated for later in the year.

Participants must register by going to www.nscd.org/programs/sportscamp_overview and clicking on the specific camp(s) or by calling (303) 293-5310. To volunteer helping with the camps, contact Janna Penhale at jannapenhale@gmail.com. Visit www.varietyofillinois.org.

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