NY Mets host 2022 Wheelchair Softball Tournament and Clinic at Citi Field

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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The New York Mets hosted three local wheelchair softball teams and some 75 schoolchildren with disabilities on Tuesday.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York Mets hosted three local wheelchair softball teams and some 75 schoolchildren with disabilities on Tuesday.

It's all part of the 2022 Wheelchair Softball Tournament and Clinic at Citi Field.

The tournament and clinic were put on by the Wheelchair Sports Federation and the Mets' Accessibility and Disability Alliance Employee Resource Group, and the event is sponsored by Citi and the Amazin' Mets Foundation.

"We try to get them to understand that, 'You can play, you can have a job, you can have a car, you can have a family,'" said John Hamre, with the Wheelchair Sports Federation. "And it's those benefits that we try to instill in them."

The tournament was held in a round-robin format, and players from all three teams also led a clinic for kids with disabilities.

"When I'm not playing this, I do tennis and lacrosse throughout the year," softball player Suraj said. "And I do basketball here and there."

Students got to see wheelchair athletes compete, two of whom were students in their same schools.

"I think it's beautiful to see people with special needs have fun and just enjoy themselves and have an amazing bond," student Leah Zelaya said. "But most importantly, they're doing what they love."

On hand were Mets alumni Todd Zeile, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Met.

The idea is to inspire and invite and let kids know what they can do and what's out there for them, but the fun wouldn't end there.

All the players and participants got lunch, gift bags, and tickets for Disability Pride Night on July 7.

That's when the Mets host the Miami Marlins.

ALSO READ | Why a New Jersey teacher has kept an empty chair in his classroom for 52 years

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