The Darien Little League’s Challenger Division is a program that enables developmentally and physically-challenged youth to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. In its 16th year, Darien’s Challenger Division is one of the largest in Connecticut.
The philosophy is to give all children the chance to play baseball in a setting that is fun and supportive. A big part of this, for the players, is to experience the sense of belonging that comes with being a part of a team, as well as the spirit of friendly competition through games with other Challenger teams from neighboring towns. In Challenger baseball, scores don’t count - everybody is a winner. It’s all about acceptance, self-esteem, positive learning experiences and team spirit.
Since the majority of Challenger players require support to successfully participate, they are paired up with volunteer “buddies” who become their personal guides. The players need varying degrees of support, but whenever possible, they are encouraged to be independent, with “buddies” close by to lend a hand, when necessary.
Head Coach, Mike Donoghue, leads a team of volunteer managers and coaches who provide positive and constructive direction tempered with patience and understanding. Other Program Coordinators include Cece Donoghue, Jessica Baylis, Colleen Lyons, Ryann Pegler, Denise Brereton and Sponsor Dan Lovegrove of Recollectics Sports Memorabilia.
Anyone interested in assisting with coaching should contact Mike Donoghue at 203- 858-7327 or
For high-school students interested in becoming “buddies”, contact Colleen Lyons by email at Lyonsden5@optonline.net.
Age & Participation Requirements
The Challenger Program serves the towns of Darien and New Canaan and is open to all challenged players 5 through 18 years of age. Players must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to all games and practices. For “away” games, transportation must be provided to fields in Stamford, Norwalk, Wilton, Fairfield and Greenwich.
The program fee is $50 for the Winter 2015 season, $150 for the Spring 2015 season, per player. Scholarships are available upon request. Contact Mike Donoghue at 203-858-7237 or
For the Winter season, practices take place at the Town Hall Gym on Saturday mornings from January through March. For the Spring season, practices and “home” games take place at the Challenger Field at McGuane Park on Saturdays and Sundays from April to June.
Important Dates – 2017
November 22nd - Winter Registration Opens
December 13th - Winter Registration Closes
January 7th - Winter Session Begins
March 11th - Winter Sessions Ends
February 24th - Spring Registration Opens
March 23rd - Spring Registration Closes
April 22nd - Spring Session Begins
April 23rd - Opening Day Parade
Please use the "Register OnLine" tab on the home page of the Darien Little League website. Contact Cece Donoghue at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.