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Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association

Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association


Scroll down for specific player information & buddy information. 


Our Spring 2023 program has ended. Please check back in January 2024 for our next session.

Bambino Buddy-Ball is for boys, and girls and young adults, ages 5-20, living with special needs (mental and/or physical) that have the desire to play organized non-competitive baseball. Players are paired with MARA volunteers where they learn baseball skills and experience the thrill of team play and camaraderie in a safe, loving, and fun environment. Our program also helps to develop confidence and a positive self-esteem!

Question: How do I know if my child should sign up for this program?
Answer: If your child is not able to play traditional recreational sports then this program is for him/her!

Coach: Rick Johnston, serves with Carmel Baptist’s JOY ministry

For more information about the Bambino Buddy-Ball program visit:

Program Details:

Who: Boys, girls, and young adults, ages 5-20, living with special needs

Where: Arthur Goodman Park, 1200 S. Trade Street, Matthews, NC; Field #8

When: Sundays at 2:00 pm

Duration: 6-8 Sundays for 60-75 minutes max

Program start date**:  Early March

What to Bring: A glove and a bat if you have one, don't worry if not as we have have extras!

Included in Registration: Uniform shirt, team photo and a recognition medal

Cost: FREE

**Dates are subject to change due to inclement weather

Registration and uniforms are free however, MARA is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization and any contribution is graciously accepted!! This can be added when you register.

For any program questions please reach to Coach Rick at [email protected].

Bambino Buddy-Ball is sponsored by

Bambino Buddy-Ball Player Registration

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Scroll down for instructions on how to register.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Buddy for our Bambino program players. Buddies suggested age is 13 years or older and a MARA member is preferred but not necessary.


Buddies need to attend most all of the games and show up with enthusiasm and in uniform. The program will consist of 6-8 Sundays.


Season will begin early March. Sessions start at 2:00 pm and last about 60-75 minutes. We need our buddies to help with set-up and clean-up afterwards so it’s approximately a 2 hour commitment each Sunday. Arrival is 1:45 pm.  


MARA, Arthur Goodman Park, Field #8


To help kids learn baseball skills and how to play the game along with experiencing the thrill of team play and camaraderie. It is a great way to get involved in the community and it counts as community service hours for school or scout requirements (if needed).


No experience necessary – just a positive attitude, a big smile and know a little bit about baseball. We will provide mandatory training prior to the start of the program for all volunteers and a uniform shirt. 

Although Bambino Buddy-Ball is a complementary program to our participants, MARA is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization and any contribution is graciously accepted!                                                     

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A  BUDDY email Coach Rick Johnson at [email protected] with the following:
- Name
- Age
- Email Address
- Phone #


Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association
Kathy Duncan MARA Administrator, PO Box 1023
Matthews, North Carolina 28106

Phone: 704-847-0752
Email: [email protected]

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