History of PAL
The Rockaway Township Police Athletic League is organized for the purpose of fostering and encouraging the youth of Rockaway Township.
The Rockaway Township PAL began in 1999 through the efforts of the Rockaway Township Police Department and volunteers. Through the years, the PAL has grown to be one of the largest in the country. The Police Athletic League (PAL) is a recreation oriented juvenile crime prevention program that relies heavily on athletics and recreational activities to tighten the bond between police officers and children in the community. The PAL has a long history of developing bonds between police officers and children.
The mission of the Rockaway Township is entirely focused around KIDS!
The Rockaway Township PAL reaches out to communicate with the young people of Rockaway Township. Our kids have shown they have the motivation and energy to learn and develop the skills that will benefit them as individuals. The Rockaway Township PAL is a preventative program, not a corrective one.
Solving anti-social behavior through recreation programs alone is not the whole answer, but it is vital to any preventative program. The Rockaway Township PAL provides a wide range of sports programs and special activities emphasizing team work. Boys and girls "strive to excel" be it at Challenger Basketball, Challenger Baseball and MC Youth Golf Program. Ideally, each sport is recreational in spirit and emphasizes instruction and fair play. Youth sports programs have contributed significantly to the reduction of delinquency in our communities. Our Police Athletic League uses athletic and recreational programs as a tool; a way to involve children in the program. While involved with the PAL, the message of avoiding gangs, drugs, alcohol, and other detriments, is discussed with the youngsters. Although nationally known as a recreation program, the Police Athletic League has adapted to the changing times. As for the future, the Rockaway Township PAL plans to continue the development of many new programs and make it even easier for our volunteers to administer good, solid programs for the kids of Rockaway Township. As this site evolves, we hope to furnish schedules and sport specific information.
The Rockaway Township Police Athletic League (RTPAL) is a not for profit organization (501 (c) (3)) that is dedicated to providing activities for special needs youth and their families. We call these activities the Challenger programs. For example, in the fall we have Challenger Soccer and Challenger Cheerleading. We enlist student volunteers from the local high schools to help assist as “buddies” for the special needs youth, our Challenger athletes.
In the winter, we have Challenger Basketball along with the Cheerleading and Dance at Stony Brook Elementary school. We also have the Lift-It Up program, at Morris Hills High School, where the Challenger athletes exercise and lift weights to become stronger. These programs are very popular and have been expanding. We do not limit the families due to the age or condition of the athlete. We also do not put restraints on where they come from. So many of our athletes come from outside of Rockaway Township.
Other activities include going to minor league baseball or NHL hockey games, Rutgers football games, a yearly trip to Dorney Park, and events like tubing down a river. We provide discounts for the families (athletes go free and transportation is provided). Although we have provided funds for many other programs that need financial assistance, we keep our focus on the special needs athletes. The soccer, basketball, cheerleading, and Lift-It Up program are successful due to the enthusiasm of the Challenger athletes and the “buddies” that come from the local high schools.
Because of RTPAL, the special needs athletes, their families, and the volunteers that help out, there is a bond that ties these groups together. All of us profit from this bond.