Nov. 15, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State softball and baseball teams, among other groups from the university, came out to play some games at the 2013 Miracle Sports Showdown held at Miracle Field at Messer Park on November 14. FSU Athletics has been a part of the event since 2010.
"The purpose of Miracle Sports is to give kids and adults of all abilities a place to come out and play some team sports," said David Jones, president of the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA) and founder of the Miracle Sports League.
Miracle Sports offers many different sports that play throughout the year. Baseball, football, soccer, basketball are just a few of the sports available. The goal is that kids and adults can benefit from the same lessons and experiences of team sports, but in a very non-competitive and fun environment.
"About 1,000 people play ball out here each year, and it is growing as time progresses," Jones added. "It helps people get active, and that's what we're all about. For our athletes, it is real special for them to know that people care enough to come out and support the effort."
The idea for Miracle Sports in Tallahassee began in 2006 when Jones attended the Grand Opening of a Miracle League field in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was so impressed and touched by what we saw and what it did for the community that he was determined to build one of them in Tallahassee. He then asked the local Tallahassee Kiwanis for their help in making his dream a reality.
"When David Jones came to us, we wanted to make it a Kiwanis division project," said Tommy Mills, president of the Killearn Kiwanis. "We have raised funds throughout the clubs in our division to make sure Miracle Sports has the funds it needs to help make these kids smile."
"To see the Florida State athletes out here with smiles on their faces, and then see the kids smiling, let me tell you, it makes it all worth it. Our motto is to serve the children of the world, one child at a time. And this has been, by far, one of the best projects we've been a part of," Mills said.
"A lot of our student-athletes come out weekly for the Miracle Sports events, so they get to know and have relationships with these kids," said softball head coach Lonni Alameda. "This was the grand finale event and so there's a little more energy. With the Miracle League and our kids having previous relationships, it is pretty fun to come out and have them challenge each other and run the bases and hit and everything. It is a great time for us to grow as a program because we get to be around other athletes and meet other people in the community, but also celebrate the simple game of playing softball."
If anyone would like to get involved with Miracle Sports and the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, please head to fdoa.org. There are volunteer applications for those who would like to serve, as well as a calendar of events for people who would simply like to attend and cheer on the athletes. Donations can also be given via their website.