VIDEO: King County Council honors White Center youth boxers, soccer team
At Monday’s meeting (Dec. 12), the Metropolitan King County Council recognized two exceptional at-risk youth programs based in White Center:
Councilmembers welcomed members of the Greater King County Police Activities League (GKCPAL) White Center Boxing Club, along with the White Center Teen Program Aztecs Soccer team to the Council’s Monday meeting, honoring them with an official County recognition highlighting their athletic successes and contribution to the community.
“Providing young people with safe and engaging alternatives is exceedingly important,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “These two programs in White Center offer opportunities to build self-esteem through athletics, as well as teaching other essential life skills.”
Founded in 2007, The White Center PAL Boxing Club is a part of a larger youth services program designed to appeal to at-risk youth in the White Center and surrounding area. It is run by a local chapter of the century-old Police Activities League, a national volunteer organization that aims to provide activities for at-risk youth and allow them personal interaction with police officers.
The Boxing Club is located in the White Center Community Center on the grounds of Steve Cox Memorial Park. Over the summer the club’s tournament team took second place in the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament in Nevada.
“The White Center PAL Boxing Club is one of our longest running outreach programs,” said Executive Director of GKCPAL Jared Karstetter. “It has obtained national attention and success, but most importantly it has taken at-risk youth out of harm’s way and placed them on a path to success academically, physically, and mentally.”
The White Center Teen Program (WCTP) is managed by the King County Parks and Recreation Division and has been operating since 1991 at the White Center Community Center. The Aztec soccer team was created out of the WCTP in 2007. A second team (FC United) was added to the soccer club in 2010. The teams practice year round at Steve Cox Memorial Park.
“We are especially proud of the accomplishments made by both the Aztecs and PAL Boxing and honored to be able to provide a home for both programs at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center,” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.
As of 2016, there are thirty players practicing with the WCTP Soccer Club, bringing the running total of Aztec Soccer players to over two hundred. In addition to weekly soccer practices, the team attends ongoing tutoring sessions and leadership activities. The team also volunteers regularly in their community including the White Center Spring Clean, the National Night Out Against Crime, the White Center Youth Summit, and the Annual WC Halloween Carnival.
Here’s full text of the Proclamation:
WHEREAS, King County’s mission is to create healthy, safe, and vibrant communities for all residents; and
WHEREAS, King County Parks’ mission is to steward, enhance, and acquire parks to inspire healthy communities, and with 28,000 acres of open space, King County Parks offers close-to-home recreational experiences for everyone; and
WHEREAS, King County Parks founded the White Center Teen Program in 1991 to promote positive development for teens in the community; and
WHEREAS, the White Center Aztecs Soccer Club was formed out of the teen program in 2007; and
WHEREAS, the King County Sheriff’s Office Foundation established the King County PAL Boxing Club in 2007 to promote interaction between the community and law enforcement; and
WHEREAS, the King County PAL Boxing Club recently qualified for the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament; and
WHEREAS, the White Center Aztecs and King County PAL Boxing Club provide recreational opportunities for youth in the community and use sports to teach teamwork, perseverance, and self-esteem;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, recognize the
White Center Aztecs & King County PAL Boxing Club
for their immeasurable contributions to our youth, communities, and King County.
DATED this twelfth day of December, 2016.