The Taunton White Tigers is a non-profit, 501(c)3, all-inclusive youth sports program. We focus on developing the athletic skills of each athlete, regardless of physical, emotional, social, or developmental differences. We put emphasis on team building, communication, sportsmanship, and most importantly, FUN!
In 2013, Jennifer Wilson searched for a local sports program for her youngest son, Ryan, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, several years prior. Although he had belonged to other local youth sports programs, he was feeling frustrated as he got older and sports became more competitive. She looked into other atlernative programs, but found that even those were limited in options. When she spoke to Ryan about these options, he insisted he wanted to be a "Tiger" like his siblings.
Jennifer began thinking about the kids who may want to learn a sport, but felt they were "not good enough" to try. She thought about the kids who had difficulties fitting in socially and the kids who wanted to be athletes, but had limited options. Jennifer realized that there was a need for a non-competitive, all-inclusive program for athletes of all abilities. When Jennifer shared this idea with others she was told, "It's not something one person can do." Her response to that person was, "Watch me."
In late 2013, Jennifer began the process of starting this program. She still had one more objective, to make sure Ryan was a "Tiger". The name "Taunton Tigers" had been used by other local programs and the local high school, so she wanted to incorporate the "Tiger" name, but still wanted to stand out.
While doing research on tigers, Jennifer leaned that orange tigers tend to travel more individually, while white tigers tend to stay in closer streaks. She also learned that white tigers tend to have a louder roar. She thought that this was a perfert fit for what she had envisioned the league would be.
After a casual announcement and a small public meeting, others began volunteering to help develop the program.
Word of this league began hitting social media and local news before it had even begun. On February 14, 2014 the headline in the local Taunton Daily Gazette was, "A Taunton group is working to form a youth sports league in the city to serve as an inclusive alternative athletic organization for 'mentally, physically and socially unique' youths." On May 6, 2014 the Taunton White Tigers held their inaugural game.