Challenger Division honored by APIVEO, Braves skipper

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Last weekend, the Challenger Division of Peachtree City Little League got a big surprise when Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker was the special guest to honor them as the APIVEO Player of the Month. Above, Snitker hung around to play ball with the players. Right, APIVEO founder Brad Jubin talks about the inspiration he gets from the Challenger players, while special guests Brian and Ronnie Snitker look on.

img_3361With a little help from a very special guest, the players of the Challenger Division of Peachtree City Little League were treated to a big day last weekend as they were named collectively the APIVEO Player of the Month. Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker was on hand to present a trophy and stayed around to hit the diamond with the players.
Challenger League baseball pairs children with disabilities with “buddies” to play their favorite game, while fostering lasting friendships and community partnerships.
“It’s a really good feeling when you can present this award, and this might be the greatest one of all time,” said Snitker, who called it a privilege and honor to have been a part of APIVEO for three years.
“I think in giving this award to the Challenger players, it’s kind of like they’re giving it back to us,” said Snitker. “We come out here on the weekends, but this is for you parents and everything you give on a daily basis.”
APIVEO (Always Play IV Each Other) is a leadership organization created to encourage and equip youth coaches to teach young athletes about leadership.
“Each month we give an award that’s given to kids that play sports, but it’s not a performance award, it’s a leadership award. It’s for leadership through service, either on their team, in their community, or with their family,” said APIVEO founder Brad Jubin. “We give this award to kids that support and love each other.”
To APIVEO, good leadership is about love and service, and their Player of the Month program highlights the best of the best, and no one does it better than the Challenger Division. Jubin is well aware of the good work done on the Field of Hope with the Challenger Division. His family volunteers with them every Saturday.
“I get inspired each time I come out here,” said Jubin, noting that the day’s windy forecast got him thinking. “The wind reminded me why we’re presenting this award here today, because if you’re not stronger than the wind, you’re going to fail. If you can get the strength to be as strong as the wind, you can stand your ground. The really amazing thing is, if you’re stronger than the wind, you can fly, because it’s the wind that lifts you when you can fight your way into it.
“When the wind is blowing hard and you challenge it, Challengers, you can fly,” said Jubin. “That’s what my family and I see every Saturday we come here. We see families and kids stepping up, challenging the wind, and soaring to heights that are so amazing.”
The award’s presenting sponsor, Zaxby’s, gives $1,000 to the winner each month to give to their favorite charity or organization. Touched by the impact of the Challenger Division, Zaxby’s tripled their donation, giving $3,000 to keep it going strong.
For more information on APIVEO, visit their website at www.apiveo.org.
For more information on Challenger baseball or to volunteer as a buddy, visit www.ptcll.siplay.com.

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Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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