Starting this season, the Kannapolis Intimidators (Low A; Sally League) will offer a sensory friendly space that is designed to accommodate and assist special needs children at all ballpark events. Formerly executive offices, the space overlooking right field is a calm area that is free from the crowds and the noise of Intimidators Stadium.
The space will be known as ‘Cam’s Clubhouse’ and the development of the space holds a very special place in the hearts of the Intimidators front office. “At an early age my son Cam was diagnosed with Autism,” said President/ GM Brian Radle. “Being in a baseball family, he has been around ballparks since he was born. With his condition it hasn’t always been easy. However, when he would struggle, it has always been relatively easy for us to take him to a quiet area to settle down if he became overwhelmed, or inconsolable. And now, we’ve seen him not only become more comfortable around the people, sights, and sounds of the ballpark, but we also see him enjoying the many joys that other children experience at the ballpark! His development is the inspiration behind this and our desire is to knock down walls, open doors, and be able to provide a safe space at our ballpark for all families to go to if they need to…a calm place, a sensory friendly space, where all special needs children would be welcomed. Further, we want to have ALL children enjoy the wonderful game of baseball and help in any way we can with their development and increasing understanding about Autism and the spectrum and this is our first main commitment to that effort.”
“The Autism Society of North Carolina applauds the leadership shown by the Intimidators in creating a sensory-friendly ballpark experience for fans on the autism spectrum and with sensory needs. We believe everyone should be able to enjoy time together with their family, friends, and other members of their community. The new sensory-friendly space and initiatives the Intimidators are implementing will provide that and serve as a model program for other sports organizations around the state and country. We are pleased to be able to support this effort,’ said David Laxton, Director of Communication for the Autism Society of North Carolina.
The sensory friendly space, which the Intimidators are introducing in partnership with Atrium Health and the Autism Society of North Carolina, will be available for all ballpark events. All special needs kids will be provided with a complimentary ticket to Intimidators games on April 5 – 8. Parents simply need to say the password ‘Cam’s Clubhouse’ to redeem the ticket.