HOLLYWOOD (April 26, 2021) – The Hollywood Police Activities League welcomes home their four USA Judo Youth Nationals tournament competitors who participated in their first out of state national tournament.
The Youth Nationals which took place in Utah’s Olympic Oval, hosted close to 500 competitors, ages 8 to 20. This was the first major youth judo tournament post Covid which followed strict guidelines and safety protocols in line with the CDC.
PAL kids Miguel, Gilberto, Isiah, and Yaritssa competed against other youth from all over the country, gaining national qualifying points and much needed competitive tournament experience. Each one fought hard against their opponents with Yaritssa bringing home a bronze medal, finishing 3rd place in her division.
“Competing at the national level gives our kids much needed experience to compete internationally. The team learned the importance of the mental edge needed to win in sports. The saying that the game is 90% mental and only 10% physical was demonstrated to our students.” – PAL Program Officer Lee
Another unique experience for these PAL kids was traveling and seeing new places. Not only did they leave their local community to fly on a plane for the first time, they faced additional firsts that expanded their horizons, giving them a taste of what different communities have to offer.
“Our kids experienced a cultural exchange in food, people and scenery while visiting Utah. Some of our youth have never experienced Japanese cuisine or southern food. This was an eye opening and exciting experience for the kids,” – Officer Lee with a smile.
With competition completed in Utah, We now have five (5) youth training and preparing for the next big National Judo Event – the Junior Olympics – coming soon in June.