A Moncton baseball field designed to be accessible for people with cognitive and physical disabilities has finally open to the public and in honour of the opening, the city’s mayor had the honour of throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
The Field of Dreams is the only barrier free field in Atlantic Canada and features artificial turf on the infield, accessible dug outs and expanded bleachers.
Nearby parking and a paved trail linking the washrooms to the parking lot and field makes getting to and from the diamond wheelchair accessible.
For Charline Alain Godin, who spearheaded the project, it’s a dream come true
“I get emotional seeing the kids play. Now being able to say that we have our own field and this is our home, it’s truly special,” Alain Godin said.
The city and the province each gave just over $165,000 towards the project with private sponsors helping secure the funds for the rest of the $500,000 needed.
But Godin says she’s not done just yet.
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“There’s ideas around a picnic area just at the side that would have wheelchair accessible picnic tables,” Godin explained. “If we could get this entire field in turf, it would be amazing but I think that’s another $500,000 project. I’m not quite sure I’m there yet.”
Parents and players alike said they can’t wait to play on their field.
“I cant sleep at night, I’m so excited,” said player Brent Daborn
“This year the program has over 50 kids registered, so its really emotional to imagine that there’s that many kids in Moncton who can benefit from a Field of Dreams,” said mother Kim Daborn.
With this new facility, the organization plans on hosting events for teams from across the Maritimes.
“So if we can have 20, 30 teams across Atlantic Canada, that would be ideal,” Godin said.