The city of Moncton is getting a fully accessible baseball diamond this fall. The city, the Regional Development Corporation and the Greater Moncton Field of Dreams baseball program will each invest $167,000 to renovate an existing ball field at the CN Sportplex.
“For kids to be able to engage in healthy and active living and to be included and have a recreational facility that is suited to their particular needs, I think it’s a great idea.” Minister of Social Development Cathy Rogers said.
The total cost of the project cost is $500,000.
“I am very pleased that we are able to do this and I would frankly like to see it done in other cities as well,” Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc said.
Charline Allain Godin, who manages the Field of Dreams team, has been pushing for a new field for a year. She says the team still has to raise $167,000 to make the dream a reality.
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“It’s game time, we need to start, so there is a long road ahead for us fundraising-wise,” Godin said. “But I am confident we will get there.”
The new field will have an accessible dugout, extended bleachers and paved trail and accessible parking and should be ready for its first at bat in the fall.
“It is going to be amazing,” Nathan Roy, whose son Alek has played for the team for six years, said. “It is going to be like they are playing in the big leagues because the restrictions they have will be taken away.”
Roy says the team has managed by using a conventional ball field so the kids could at least have a place to play, but it hasn’t been easy.
“Alek is confined to a wheelchair so even the entrance is very tight and we have to go around the entire field to get in.”
He says that won’t be a problem much longer and he can’t wait for his son’s first at bat.
“To see them treated like any other child is just amazing,” Roy said.