Wapato Youth Athletics League Closes Its Doors
An afterschool youth sports program may be leaving Wapato and the kids behind -- after its directors refuse the city's demand to pay property and liability insurance.
Carrie Osorio sifts through emails at work, communicating with other parents whose kids are in the Wapato Youth Athletics League.
Osorio is concerned that the athletics league will remove itself from the city of Wapato, leaving her two daughters, who are part of the sports club, without a place to go after school.
"It's not every parent that can drive their children to Yakima or Toppenish or some of the bigger places to participate in sports," said Osorio.
The athletics league says it won't be renewing its lease with the Wapato Community Center, after the city council proposed a contract that would leave the non-profit organization responsible for paying property and liability insurance.
Some students say with the league closing its doors and leaving, a lot of their sporting options will be leaving as well.
"Me and my sister used to play here a lot and join sports. It was lots of fun, but now I can't really join that much clubs and stuff, I have to go all the way to Yakima," said Wapato Middle School student Deon Smartlowit.
When we visited the Wapato Community Center, we found its doors locked, and packing boxes laid out in the hallways.
With the youth athletics league out of the community center, and the doors locked off to children, parents are wondering, what other facilities can they play at now?
Wapato MayorJesse Farias confirms the league won't be renewing its lease, but would not discuss the situation further, saying only that "it is a fine organization," and that it "works very hard."
Carrie Oosorio says her main concern is wondering what will now keep children occupied and off the streets.
"Participating in sports and activities after schools is -- it's one of the things that keeps kids from making bad choices and I would just hate to see there be nothing to fill the time after school," said Osorio.
The Wapato Youth Athletics League says it will be out of the community center building by the end of the month.