The Point Is Kids

by Robert Larios, CEO, The Club

Robert Larios

Perspective helps us see what matters.

That came to mind early last month when I chatted happily with the supervisors who manage one of the most stunning developments in Los Angeles City recreation history: PlayLA. The impressive PlayLA Youth and Adaptive Sports Initiative has already signed up more than 120,000 young athletes in less than one year; I am told PlayLA is the biggest one-time expansion of sports activities in Rec and Parks history.


At the Olympic date announcement event in July were PlayLA supervisors (from left) Laura Ireland, Club CEO Robert Larios, Caroline Lammers and Ramon Cerrillos.

Last month’s event, however, convened for a different reason – to announce the starting and closing dates of the LA Olympics in 2028. That is important information, for sure. Most attendees of the event came away knowing that timeline. That is all fine, of course.

I came away with a different perspective, however, when I met some of PlayLA’s young participants and witnessed their relentless energy around me. I saw firsthand how much they loved it. Certainly that is more important, don’t you agree? In the past these youths had little to no access to programs due to location, or sport choice, or handicap, or finance. And now they do. Once again we see the City endeavoring to bring a better life to its citizens. (The Club does that, too, every day.)

Our feature this month shines a light on this astounding new program and the City employees who make it happen, including Anita Meacham Williams, Ramon Cerrillos, Laura Island, Caroline Lammers and Melanie Escamilla. (Thank you, too, to Rose Watson and JuanCarlos Chan for their assistance.) We also honor the Rec Directors and Instructors Citywide for implementing PlayLA, and the Olympic committees for funding it. I recommend you read our story, and I trust you will be as proud of our City as I am.

Worth Considering: Another thought came to me as I intermingled with the young PlayLA participants and fed on their joyous energy: to try new things. It’s important for all of us to take a risk every now and again, and go for what we want instead of settling for something that will lead us away from our best purpose. Don’t be afraid. Run the race. Give it all you have. The courage will find you.

Finally, I wish to remind you to take respite this August, and rest and enjoy life with your friends and loved ones. The busyness of fall will be with us all too soon.

¡Gracias por leer!