If you’re going
* What: Special Olympics Battle of the Bats Softball Invitational
* When: Opening ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Saturday; games throughout the day
* Where: Central Park, 2300 Keith Bridge Road
* Cost: Free admission, concessions and raffle tickets will be available for purchase
CUMMING — Hundreds of Special Olympics softball players, coaches and supporters from all over the state will gather Saturday for the Sixth Annual Battle of the Bats tournament at Central Park.
Annemarie Raygor, one of the organizers, said the annual invitational tournament raises funding for the local Special Olympics program, which offers a wide range of sporting and social activities for students and adults with special needs.
“This year, we’ll have 27 teams from all across Georgia, and one is even coming all the way from Illinois,” Raygor said. “We’re expecting about 400 athletes and coaches.”
The event is free and open to the public, so organizers are hoping for a strong showing from the Forsyth County community.
“We hope to have lots of people in the bleachers cheering on all these amazing athletes,” Raygor said.
Opening ceremonies for the event will begin at 8:45 a.m., followed by tournament play throughout the day. Concessions and raffle tickets will be available as well, with all proceeds going to the Forsyth County Special Olympics program.
Besides the athletes, coaches and spectators, Raygor said the tournament is made possible each year through a partnership with the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department and the umpires of the Chattahoochee Officials Association.
“We couldn’t put this event on without their help,” Raygor said.
She added that the event has become a popular one over the years.
“What started out as just a venue for our players [in Forsyth County] to learn how to compete and play against each other, has turned into just a magnificent day that everybody looks forward to.”