For immediate release:
August 14, 2015
Ottawa – Eastern Ontario’s first fully accessible baseball diamond and sports facility opened today when Mayor Jim Watson cut the ribbon at the Miracle League Field, located at Notre-Dame-des-Champs Park on Navan Road.
“Every child deserves a safe environment where they can play, have fun and be a kid,” said Mayor Watson. “This facility provides children with special needs, young adults and adults the opportunity to play the game of baseball.”
Mayor Watson was joined by Innes Councillor Jody Mitic, Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, Marie-France Lalonde, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, David Gourlay, President of the Miracle League of Ottawa, and Robert Witchel, Executive Director of the Jays Care Foundation.
The Miracle League of Ottawa is a non-profit organization that has worked with the City to build a baseball field and playground for children with disabilities. The Miracle League Field is wheelchair accessible and has a rubberized surface to provide a consistent, accessible and safe playing surface for young athletes with disabilities.
The facility is the dream of 12-year-old Bryce Desrochers and his parents Rolly and Michelle. Bryce was born with cerebral palsy, but he would like to play sports like any other child. The project includes a field house, which also opened today, and a playground which will be installed in 2016.
The City of Ottawa has supplied the land and is providing funding for up to 50 per cent of the total $1.6 million project cost through the Community Partnership Major Capital Program.
“What began as the dream of a 12-year-old boy has grown into a tremendous accomplishment for the City and a dream come true for thousands,” said David Gourlay, President of the Miracle League of Ottawa. “Many hands and many organizations have come together to make this day a reality and I want to thank each and every one of them."
Several organizations and all three levels of government have contributed to funding including: the City of Ottawa, the Jays Care Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Malhotra Family Foundation, the Progressive Waste Solutions / Friends of The Mer Bleue Community Fund, the Government of Canada, the Rotary Clubs of Orléans, Ottawa, South Ottawa and Rotary District 7040, Kraft Canada, Motion Specialties, The Champions for Ottawa Baseball, the Telus Community Fund, Pathway Hyundai, the Tunis Shriners Ottawa, and Trinity Development Group Inc.
The Miracle League of Ottawa has also partnered with the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre, which will use the field and playground for rehabilitation and programming for more than 4,000 children in the nation's capital who have physical or mental disabilities.
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