VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Where there is an abundance of love and support, miracles happen.
Community members in Valdosta are celebrating the ground-breaking for the brand new Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Association Miracle League Baseball Field at Freedom Park.
The five-field complex was built with the goal of changing lives.
It all started with a dream of bringing the Valdosta-Lowndes community together like never before.
That dream turned into a reality as the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Association held a groundbreaking ceremony for the all-new Miracle League Baseball Field
"This facility is unprecedented for our area because it is truly inclusive," said VLPRA Director Jessica Catlett.
This will not be an ordinary baseball field. At the heart of the five field complex is the two dimensional rubberized miracle field that allows people from all walks of life to play sports to the best of their abilities.
"Individuals of all abilities can play. Someone maybe in a wheelchair or who uses a walker, somebody who is a fall risk, that can't walk very easily that needs assistance to play, they can play on this field," explained Catlett.
The idea first came from Andy Gibbs in 2004, when he partnered with VLPRA years later to get the dream off the ground.
"The Miracle League System plays baseball by pairing each athlete with an able-bodied buddy, so they become friends through the game. The goal is also for them to become friends outside of the game," said Catlett.
It is that potential for unity that makes this field like none other.
"Many of our volunteers will tell you after volunteering for a season with the miracle league, that they thought they were going to go help somebody, but really in the end they were the one that learned something and they were the ones who got that warm fuzzy feeling from being there," concluded Catlett.
The miracle field will cost a little over five million dollars and is expected to be ready for players to enjoy by Spring 2019.