The Hollywood Police Activities League (PAL), a community-based crime prevention program, provides young people with positive alternatives to gangs and drugs in Los Angeles. Through interaction with police officers in recreational, educational, athletic and fine arts activities, young people are given the opportunity to form healthy, positive attitudes toward the police, the society and the laws they represent.
Hollywood PAL serves more than 500 at-risk youth, ages 6-17, annually from Hollywood and surrounding areas of Los Angeles, offering programs throughout the year. Programs include Martial Arts, Soccer, Hollywood Fit Club (marathon-training, hiking, dance and other fitness activities), Junior Police Academy (a 5-day camp introducing kids to the different responsibilities of a police officer), the Youth Leadership Council (student-led community volunteer work), the Hollywood Arts Club (special activities, field trips and family events), and the PAL College Scholarship Program (partial college scholarships available to alumni of the PAL programs).
This year Play Rugby USA partnered with Hollywood PAL to deliver a 6-week pilot flag rugby season. Over 20 young sensations signed up for this introduction to the sport of rugby and it’s wonderful values. Students then eagerly watched the Olympic Games in Rio where Team USA fielded a Men’s and Women’s 7s rugby team – competing against the best in the world!
The pilot season saw rugby sessions take place on Monday and Wednesday evenings, with tournament style play on Saturdays.
Officer Jesse Rubalcava from Hollywood PAL thoroughly enjoyed having rugby at the Bernstein High School fields: “Once the kids started playing, they loved it. And then once they realized that it was an Olympic sport, they became even more fascinated. The kids learned more than just a new sport, they learned how to try new things and be confident in their ability to learn something new.”
Play Rugby USA would like to thank Hollywood PAL’s Development Director Valerie Lord and Officer Rubalcava for a fantastic summer season, with plans for expansion in 2017! Additionally thank you to Youth Development Mentors Harrison Herndon, Nate Bolton, Matt Raba and Nick Freitas for assisting during the programs exciting first year.
“It was an absolute pleasure working with the sensational staff at Hollywood PAL, and the students were extremely respectful and eager to play as much as possible! We had so much fun during this pilot season” – Dallen Stanford, PRUSA Los Angeles Program Director.
For more information visit: http://hollywoodpal.org/