Sports for All: Gateway Region YMCA

Whether it’s hitting a home run, scoring a goal or simply enjoying time with peers, there is something magical about youth sports. While mental and physical disabilities can limit opportunities, the Gateway Region YMCA is dedicated to ensuring everyone gets the chance to play. The organization serves around 1,000 children and adults with diverse abilities annually through fitness, camps, child care, swimming and other programs. To further its impact in the region, it is opening the Adaptive Sports Complex, allowing for everyone in the community to enjoy and engage with a variety of sports opportunities.

“The Adaptive Sports Complex is a game changer,” says Tim Helm, president and CEO of the Gateway Region YMCA. “The impact of being part of a team is critical for children. Our goal is to make that accessible for everyone.” The Gateway Region YMCA is one of the few associations in the country that has a dedicated Inclusion and Adaptive Support Services department. The Adaptive Sports Complex will build on that infrastructure and introduce resources to add youth sports, such as baseball, soccer, football and bocce ball.

The new facility will include a Miracle League baseball field. The national organization is dedicated to removing barriers so children and adults with mental and physical disabilities can enjoy and participate in baseball. The Adaptive Sports Complex’s field will feature a barrier-free dugout, synthetic turf field, accessible field and walking track, and a sensory-rich playground—all designed to resemble Busch Stadium. “We are working with the Cardinals and are excited to share that the field is named after Paul Goldschmidt,” Helm notes. “We will host the Miracle League’s All Star Game in 2025. We’re looking forward to welcoming athletes from across the country to experience the new complex while we show off why St. Louis has the best baseball fans.”

The Adaptive Sports Complex would not be possible without the support of the Gateway Region YMCA’s community partners. For this initiative, the organization collaborated with St. Louis Cardinal’s charitable foundation, Cardinals Care, and the Boniface Foundation. “This project is a perfect opportunity to carry out Cardinals Care’s mission of caring for kids,” says Michael Hall, vice president of community relations and executive director of Cardinals Care. “We are proud to partner with Boniface Foundation, the Gateway Region YMCA and the Miracle League on this investment in our community that will provide state-of-the-art sports facilities to allow children with special needs to take part in our national pastime.”

The Gateway Region YMCA also relies on the support of the community to make its mission possible. The Adaptive Sports Complex is a $5.2 million project, and currently, $4.3 million has been raised. “Every gift counts, and we have great recognition opportunities, including personalized bricks and baseballs for display,” notes Helm. On June 25, the nonprofit will hold an Opening Day ribbon cutting for the new complex. “It’s going to be a big celebration, and we’re working with the Cardinals to make it a fun event,” Helm says. “We’re looking forward to sharing the new facility with the community.”

The Gateway Region YMCA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for the entire community. The Opening Day ribbon cutting for its new Adaptive Sports Complex is June 25. Pictured on the cover: Michael Hall, vice president of community relations and executive director of Cardinals Care; Tim Helm, president and CEO of Gateway Region YMCA; Win Reed, chairman of the Boniface Foundation. For more information, call 314.436.1177 or visit

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography

Pictured at top: Rendering of Gateway Region YMCA Adaptive Sports Complex | A Y youth sports participant
Photo courtesy of Gateway Region YMCA

Exit mobile version
Skip to toolbar