“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they can understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”~ Nelson Mandela
For PAL, Nelson Mandela’s words ring true to us because for PAL our sports tournament program isn’t really just about playing soccer and basketball. It was designed to be so much more. It was designed to create leaders, to encourage success, to empower youth to do more and be more than they could imagine, and it was designed to bring joy.
In 2019 we saw the most participation ever in our tournaments. We hosted ten tournaments total between soccer and basketball and we saw 18 schools (from both Evergreen and Vancouver Public Schools) bring 40 teams with over 670 youth competing!
It was also a year for the books because for the first time in the 6 years we’ve held the tournaments, our champions (Pioneer Elementary for both sports) came from Evergreen Schools, breaking an almost 3-year streak from Harney Elementary in Vancouver Schools who had been our reigning champions in both sports.
At the end of the day we are excited to be offering these sport programs in partnership with our local elementary schools and at no cost to the youth who are playing. We hope to have more schools participate next year and eventually we hope to expand the tournaments up to North County.