America’s favorite past time brought to Santee in community sports camp for East County youth

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Under a cerulean sky and delightful warmth, 100 anxious cleats trod across the emerald field, leather mitts in hand. The smell of fresh cut grass filled the air along with the excitement of the day’s activities. 

Put em’ in coach, they’re ready to play. 

Under a cerulean sky and delightful warmth, 100 anxious cleats trod across the emerald field, leather mitts in hand. The smell of fresh cut grass filled the air along with the excitement of the day’s activities. 

Put em’ in coach, they’re ready to play. 

East County youngsters took to the field for a day of all things baseball when Sports Training, Academics, Recreation/Police Athletic League (STAR/PAL) teamed up with the San Diego Padres to offer a baseball fundamentals clinic at the SportsPlex athletic park in Santee. With the help of officers from the San Diego Sheriff’s department and San Diego police and probation departments, boys and girls ages 5-12 got a crash course in America’s favorite past time, from fielding ground balls in the infield, running down and snagging pop fly’s in the outfield, winding up on the mound and striking out batters at the plate and digging in their heels and swinging for the fences. 

STAR/PAL coordinator and San Diego Police Officer Edwin Garrette praised the San Diego Padres and STAR/PAL staff for their commitments to the youth programs.

“We have a unique partnership with the San Diego Padres that allow us to connect with the youth of the communities to learn the basics of baseball in a fun sports environment,” he said. “I’m always grateful for the officers and volunteers we have come to help out and work with these kids.”

The clinic concluded with a trip to the see their favorite baseball stars in action. San Diego Padres donated tickets to their Aug. 7 game versus the Baltimore Orioles at Petco Park. Newly minted ball players sat front row and cheered until the final out.  

Since its inception, STAR/PAL has worked with community leaders throughout the county of San Diego to develop free educational, athletic and recreational events and activities geared toward youth development and empowerment, crime and violence prevention education programs. Garrette said he wants to continue to foster the bond between communities and law enforcement. 

“Our goal with this program, and law enforcement in general, is to come along side residents and create safe environments within the community,” he said. “For us, we want the kids to come to our events and be involved and have a positive experience with a police officer so they can remember that trust and rapport built with us in the future.”

To learn more about STAR/PAL United For Youth programs visit www.starpal.org.