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The Sunnyvale Police Activities League (PAL) exists to build and strengthen relationships between youth and public safety officers in our community through providing athletic and extracurricular opportunities that otherwise would not be accessible to the participants.
Sunnyvale PAL first organized in 1969. It evolved from a grass roots football program that was started in response to community needs. In 1965 the Rockets joined the Mid-Peninsula Pop-Warner League. They earned the sponsorship of the Sunnyvale Optimist Club and were granted permission to practice non-tackle at Washington Park. In 1967, the Sunnyvale Public safety Officers Association (PSOA) co-sponsored the two Sunnyvale teams (the Rockets and the Micro Rockets). By 1968, the program gained full support of the PSOA and then Chief Jacob A. Jessup. Soon after, they were allowed tackle practice at Washington Park and Homestead High School’s field was made available for games. The program had become part of Sunnyvale.
In 1969, the Sunnyvale Public Safety Activities League or Sunnyvale P.A.L. was established. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the program grew to include many sports including football, cheer-leading, soccer, boxing, softball, basketball, swimming, wrestling, archery, SCUBA, model airplane flying club, track, marching groups and mini bikes. The programs ebbed and flowed with community needs and staffing ability. In 1992 the PAL had football, baseball and soccer. Over the next few years the team sports faded away as community needs were being met by other leagues such as Pop Warner and AYSO.
In 2003, Public Safety Officer Jose Ramirez started an after school boxing program for middle school youth. The program flourished serving more than 700 students over the next three years until the facility they were using became unavailable. The club searched for a new home and finally found it at The Gateway Neighborhood Center. The Sunnyvale Boxing Club re-opened in April 2011 to host young boxers seven years old and older. In the first 6 weeks more than 200 youth had registered for the program. Staffing is covered by volunteer coaches and administrative assistants. Each afternoon, Monday through Thursday 25-50 youth and their parents gather to work out and learn boxing techniques.
In the fall of 2010, Sunnyvale Dept of Public Safety partnered with Reach Potential Movement to implement the Sunnyvale Youth Mentoring Program. The pilot project of this program grew from a DPS Crime Prevention Unit pilot program called Youth & Horses, which teaches at-risk high school youth about values through working with horses. The first session of Youth and Horses ran during spring of 2011. In addition to Youth & Horses, the Sunnyvale Youth Mentoring Program continued with the students providing mentoring and partnering with the staff at the boxing program as there was much crossover interest between the programs. SYMP provides quarterly special events and outings such as laser tag, fishing, hiking and horseback riding.
PAL is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization # 45-545-4048 with no paid employees.
Interested in becoming a sponsor of Sunnyvale PAL?