Adaptive Sports for Kids nearing 2024 baseball kickoff with field upgrades

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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NEDERLAND — Community members are welcome to attend and celebrate the start of the baseball season March 23 at Babe Ruth/Adaptive Sports for Kids Field in Nederland.

Adaptive Sports for Kids (A.S.K.) is a nonprofit that provides sports for young people and adults with special needs in a year-round program at no cost to the participants.

A.S.K. serves hundreds of athletes from Jefferson County, Orange County and beyond.

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Allen Nation, executive director of Adaptive Sports for Kids, spoke at Monday’s Nederland City Council meeting about the special event.

“We’re going to start things at about 11:30 a.m. and have booths, vendors and things for the kids to do,” he said. “We’ll have kids running through the tunnels. They’ll be taking pictures. It’s a pretty fun day.

“What you’ll see when you go out there is the backstop is now straight. The dugout fence is now black vinyl-coated fencing with poles painted. The fence that is on the backstop, and I’m not a fence guy, apparently is super duper strong. That’s all been completed as of (Sunday).”

The ribbon is cut in 2023 at the Adaptive Sports for Kids field in Nederland. (Clayton Eaves/Special to The News)

Nation said the ballpark remains a work in progress.

“With your assistance and other entities, our goal is to make that a diamond in this community,” he said. “I suggest you drive by and take a look. There is more to come. We’ll be starting on the third base-side fence with a new eight-foot fence. Then after that, there will be a new sliding gate entrance put in with an eight-foot fence. We’re trying to protect that $400,000 investment we have laying in the field as best we can.”

This year’s league T-shirt has the phrase, “Making the world a playground for every hero” in honor of all the athletes and Gay Ferguson, who was killed in a late-2022 traffic wreck.

Ferguson was a co-founder and became an integral part in Adaptive Sports for Kids attaining 501(c)3 status more than a decade ago. She was also an Orange resident and longtime employee with the City of Nederland.

Nation said the last conversation he had with Ferguson was about Challenge Coins.

The first ever coins are now available, and Nation said they were designed in part by her daughters.

Adaptive Sports for Kids had 180 registrations for baseball in 2023. As of now, organizers have 150.

“Here is the really good thing,” Nation said. “If you can’t make it Saturday (March 23), I invite y’all out Sunday to the park, where we will have our first Special Needs Easter Egg hunt. We have 75 registrations. We will have a place for wheelchairs and walkers. The eggs will be on balloons, so they don’t have to bend down to pick the balloons up. We will have the field marked off in three or four sections.”

Community members can go show their support at 3300 Park Drive in Nederland while all of A.S.K.’s teams play their season schedule.

Adaptive Sports for Kids can be reached on Facebook, 409-779-2228 or

Nederland Ward 4 Councilman David Guillot said it’s very impressive what the team at A.S.K. continues to provide for area children and adults.

“It’s close to my heart,” he said. “I had a special needs (individual) in my life for years. What y’all do and the time you give to these young ladies and gentlemen to give them sports in their lives is amazing.”