Westhills Baseball league’s division, the “Champions,” wrapped up their fourth season with flair Monday evening at a special event game in West Hills. Guests include David Hernandez from American Idol Season 7 and Francesca Capaldi from Disney’s Dog With A Blog.
The Champions Division was the brainchild of Kole Kodimeran, an 11-year-old Westhills baseball player who brought his love of baseball to children who typically don’t get the opportunity to get out on the baseball field, let alone play. Two years ago, Kodimer sold the idea of having an all-inclusive baseball program to the board and the Champions Division was born. Today the division has 50 athletes with autism, down syndrome and other disabilities, including a few kids who are wheelchair-bound.
Participants are partnered with volunteer “Buddies” from local high schools, including Calabasas High, El Camino, Chaminade and New Jewish Community High School. Other volunteers come from West Hills Baseball and the community. The Champions and Buddies are paired together and their interaction is magical all while building self-esteem, confidence and acceptance of diversity and those with differing abilities.