Adaptive Programs

Girsh Park is the home to two very popular youth adaptive sports programs, the Challengers division of DPLL and AYSO’s VIP Program.  The DPLL Challengers division is a baseball oriented program that occurs in the spring. The Challenger Division brings together special needs boys and girls ages 5 – 22 years old to PLAY BALL!  Children with physical and developmental challenges are getting a chance to experience the joy of baseball, build self-esteem and be part of a team.  Best of all, “typical” little league players from the major teams are enlisted weekly to help with Challengers by being their big “buddies”. This is a one of a kind program enabling these kids to build character, compassion, sportsmanship and form friendships.  In addition the Santa Barbara Foresters run a three day summer camp for the Challengers on June 7-9.  For more info about the Challengers and the Foresters Camp, click on the logos below.

AYSO and Special Olympics of Santa Barbara run the VIP Program, a soccer program for special needs children.  The AYSO/Special Olympics VIP Soccer program provides a quality soccer experience for children whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully participate on mainstream teams.  These players are called Very Important Players (VIP).  All people need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. The VIP program offers that acceptance and carries the philosophy of Everyone Plays to new heights – giving everyone a chance to play.  The program runs from September to November each year on Saturday mornings

For information and to join the VIP program, contact Ashley Haug, Special Olympics Sports Manager,, call 805-884-1516, or click on the logo below to visit their website.