After a pandemic hiatus, CSL Behring recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Gettin’ in the Game Junior National Championship (JNC), the first and only national sports competition designed specifically for kids who have bleeding disorders.
About 60 young athletes from bleeding disorders chapters across the United States attended the event in Phoenix, Arizona. The kids and teens, ages 7-18, spent the weekend learning the fundamentals of golf (chipping, putting and driving) or baseball (fielding, hitting and pitching) plus an additional swimming activity – all in a safe and supportive environment, where they were cheered on by caregivers and CSL Behring employee volunteers. CSL Behring, a business of global biotech CSL, develops and manufactures medicines for rare and serious diseases, such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease.
“The JNC is a truly unique and impactful event that has helped over 6,300 of kids over the past 20 years to recognize the importance of exercise,” said Bob Lojewski, CSL Behring Senior Vice President and General Manager for Commercial Operations in North America. “Most importantly, it provides the opportunity for children and caregivers to connect with other members of the bleeding disorders community from across the country and make lasting connections.”
CSL CEO Paul Perreault attended and has made a tradition out of serving as a caddy for one of the young golfers. Lojewski led a panel featuring Gettin’ in the Game athletes who shared their positive experiences with sports and the impact the JNC has had on them.
Though it was a sports-packed weekend, organizers also made time for participants to flex their creativity. The kids and teens commemorated Caregiver Awareness Month by making cards of thanks for their parents and other key people in their lives.