Calexico Young Athletes Will Continue to Have a Place to Play Sports

By Mario Conde

Calexico young athletes will continue to have a place to play sports since the Calexico Parents Athletic League will work to provide programs for them.

The Calexico Police Athletic League folded last December since the Calexico Police Department would not be able to manage or run the program. Chief Jim Neujahr stated to the Police Advisory Board that the Calexico Police Department had always been supportive of the program, but it could no longer afford to have a fulltime employee overseeing it. The Community Service Officer in charge of the program was re-assigned to doing CSO duties now that patrol was so short on personnel.

Because of this situation, the Police Athletic League in Calexico, who in just a couple of years went from having 67 members to 2,700 athletes and won many valley and Statewide tournaments, folded but the parents decided to take matters into their own hands.  CPAL Athletic Director Carmen Estrada said Saturday at the opening ceremony of the soccer tournament that felt sad when the Calexico Police Athletic League and was depressed for a week but said that made her work even harder to continue the program.

A new board was created and created a new 501(c) 3 non-profit and were able to come to an agreement with the City of Calexico to rent the place where the Police Athletic League used to operate. CPAL vice-president Antonio Garcia said that the decision to end PAL was a financial one but said that without the determination of Carmen Estrada, the continuation of the program would be hard or would not be the same.

CPAL president Jesus Yniguez said that the program is will continue now that everything is now in order. Yniguez said that CPAL will start fundraising for different programs that are being planned and want to implement in the near future. Yniguez said CPAL plans to have a softball league, basketball, and Cheerleading soon. It is also planned to have mini-sports such as T-ball and activities for children who need to get started in sports at an early age.

The new board is made of President Jesus Yniguez, Vice-president Antonio Garcia, secretary Richard Espinoza, treasure Griselda Gonzalez, and athletic director Carmen Estrada.