What's Happening in PAL?
Today, there are over 400 PAL Member Chapters in law enforcement agencies servicing over 700 cities and 1,700 facilities throughout the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, serving more than one million youth, ages 5 to 18.
It is based on the conviction that young people - if they are reached early enough - can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship.
The PAL program brings youth under the supervision and positive influence of a law enforcement agency and expands public awareness about the role of a police officer and the reinforcement of the responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.
PAL offers youth chance for some competition
By Susan Hiland From page A3 | February 27, 2017
VACAVILLE — The gym at Vacaville High School echoed Sunday with the sounds with grunts, shouts of encouragement and constant chatter of onlookers.
The Vacaville Police Activities League drew hundreds of visitors and just as many competitors to the Makimoto Judo Vacaville PAL tournament.
Zacharah Winn, 16, of Vacaville, looked relaxed in his black T-shirt and blue jeans after spending the morning helping with the booths, but that didn’t last long as he got into his white competition clothing – the karategi or simply gi for short.
He has been in the Makimoto Judo Club since he was 6 years old, following in his mother’s footsteps. She took judo at Solano Community College.
“The emphasis isn’t on fighting but on respect,” he said, “and learning technique. It’s like combat but not as much. It’s really more of who has the better technique.”
His mother, Gwen Winn, said she really wanted her children to join judo for the discipline and respect.
“One of the volunteers was saying how well-behaved the kids are,” she said. “That is just part of it.”
Most of Zach’s family is involved with the martial arts, including two brothers and an older sister. His sister is studying under the same teacher and in the same class as his mother did when she was in college.
“I really wanted her to take the same class and have the same instructor,” Gwen Winn said.
Gordon Makimoto named the club in honor of his father, who taught him judo when he was 8 years old. His father continues to teach at his own dojo in Sacramento and his son has continued that tradition with the Makimoto Judo Vacaville PAL club for the past 20 years.
“The youth gain self-discipline, respect and self-defense,” said Makimoto.
Boys and girls from the ages of 8 to 18 can join the PAL club but there is a waiting list.
“This is a popular club,” he said. “The kids work hard and compete, getting to travel around the state as they start to excel in competitions.”
Former 2008 Olympic Judo competitor Sayaka Torra came to coach her team at the event. She has her own dojo in El Cerrito and enjoys seeing her students excel.
She knows the dedication and sacrifices that it takes to go big with judo because she did it for 20 years of her life, starting at just 5 years old.
“We aren’t pushing the students here for that. It takes a long time to get to Olympic level,” she said. “The competitions are for fun.”
She said that some of the students might have a goal of reaching the Olympics but that emphasis doesn’t come until they are 15 or 16 years old.
“It really is up to the individual child, not the parent or teacher,” she said. “But if the child starts with a dream, they can do it if they want it.”
PAL Art- is back! For more program information or to register call (707) 469-4000.
PAL Holiday Party December 23, 2016
PAL TOP Chef meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30pm to 5:00pm (7-12yrs) and 5:00pm to 6:30pm (13-18yrs). For more program information or to register call (707) 469-4000
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