Our Mission and Vision
Mikey’s League was founded with a powerful objective: to challenge the limits placed on people with disabilities and allow them to inspire and teach us. We believe in the power of sport, and its moments of triumph, to unify, heal, and provide the confidence needed to succeed, regardless of challenges.
Vision:To allow all kids to play, regardless of ability. Through inclusive sports create an opportunity to experience triumph and success in a way that they will remember forever.
What Makes Us Different
- We are inclusive. We welcome athletes with physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, and no disabilities to come together. We just want everyone to be able to play.
- We believe that iron sharpens iron. Athletes of all ability levels practice and compete together. We take time on the front end to create balanced teams, utilizing our more experienced athletes to assist those needing more support during practices. During games, those athletes are matched against others at a similar skill level and still compete on the same teams as their more experienced peers.
- We focus on the fundamentals. We are here to improve while we have fun. We get better by building our house on a strong foundation of the fundamentals.
- We hold athletes accountable. We challenge and push our athletes to reach their potential. We treat them with the respect to not coddle them.
Founded in 2019, by a combat veteran in memory of his brother, Mikey’s League provides inclusive sports opportunities for athletes with and without physical or cognitive disabilities. What makes us different is our commitment to inclusion with athletes of all ability levels learning and competing side by side.
Who Is Mikey?
Michael “Mikey” Bender was born with cerebral palsy and a backwards heart. Doctors told his family that he would never be able to walk and would not live past the age of three. This picture is of Mikey proving how strong he really was.
Mikey was passionate about sports and did not let his disabilities hold him back. Even though there were no intramural programs for him, he played backyard sports with his brothers and their friends. Those games became some of the best, and most enduring memories for both Mikey and his family.
Mikey passed in 2008 at the age of 21. It is in honor of his legacy that we established Mikey’s League with a mission to create lasting memories and share Mikey’s love of sport.
Mikey’s League was formed by childhood friends, Karl Bender and Scott Freeman. We are continually inspired by Mikey and aim to challenge the idea that kids with disabilities need to be treated differently. We want to expand Mikey’s backyard football experience to the Valley, and in doing so provide opportunities for the community to come together in seeing how strong it can be.
- Flag Football
- Floor Hockey
- Ice Hockey