Field of Dreams becomes a reality - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Field of Dreams becomes a reality

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The field is culmination of the support and funding from the University of Northwestern Ohio, The Lima Rotary Club, and R D  Jones Excavating. The field is culmination of the support and funding from the University of Northwestern Ohio, The Lima Rotary Club, and R D  Jones Excavating.
The diamond sits among the other athletic fields at the UNOH and is specifically designed for kids with special needs. The diamond sits among the other athletic fields at the UNOH and is specifically designed for kids with special needs.

Members of the Abilities League are excited to have a Field of Dreams of their own.

“Pretty neat we don’t have to play in the park anymore," says Dalas Meffley, an athlete in the Abilities League.

The field is culmination of the support and funding from the University of Northwestern Ohio, The Lima Rotary Club, and R D  Jones Excavating. But before they got involved the field started as a dream of Abilities League founder Rachael Staley, who wanted to provide a barrier free space for children with special needs to play some baseball. A year and a half after the ground was broke, Staley’s dream has become a reality.

"The smiles and seeing one of our players, Annie, run the bases for the first time tonight, it made those 18 months seem like nothing and you know it’s just for the kids, and that’s what I’m excited to see. Some of these parents seeing it for the very first time,” says Staley.

The first year of the league saw 53 kids playing in Lima City Parks and grew to 110 children participating last year. With the new field, Staley is hoping to widen the scope of who will be able to enjoy the field .

"We’re excited to have our own space where we can expand our reach as well. We play with kids that are 4-21 but we’ll be able to expand that to an adult league as well.”

The diamond sits among the other athletic fields at the UNOH and is specifically designed for kids with special needs. Made from a synthetic turf surface, the field is handicap accessible and playable after it rains. Dr. Jeff Jarvis, President of UNOH, says the field fits in perfectly at the university and that he knew it would from the start.

"It’s important for the kids that are in the ability baseball league and the first day Rachael came to me and asked about our participation I was in in the first two minutes, so anything to do to help children and especially this cause,” says Jarvis.

Dalas and his teammates are looking forward to their opening game in April.

“Be with our team and everybody else," says Meffley.

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