Embarrassing Paly athletic facilities

Palo Alto is one of the most affluent areas in the Bay Area, and the schools are known for turning out well-rounded individuals prepped for a top-college education.
However, one aspect where the Palo Alto school district’s excellence is lacking is in their maintenance of athletic facilities.

Many of Paly’s athletic teams are using old equipment that needs replacing, but that is the least of their problems. Paly’s athletic facilities are outdated, dangerous, and hindering the athletes’ performance.

The Paly pool is among the worst of the athletic facilities. The pool is constantly used. During the fall, both junior varsity and varsity boys and girls water polo teams play and practice in the pool. The swim team, which is one of the largest sports program at Paly, uses the pool during the spring season.

This year the water polo team has been plagued by the old Paly pool. The pool’s heater and filter have already broken twice this year. One of these occasions was the week before the girl’s varsity water polo team’s league final. The team did not get to practice in their home pool before a crucial game because of the broken facility.

"We can’t host any tournaments because [our pool] is too small and there isn’t any room for teams to warm up while another game is being played," water polo player junior Remy Champion said. "Last season we were the first seed in league, but because our pool is so bad, we couldn’t host any league championship or CCS games."

There is no doubt that there is a lack of athletic funding, but the pool is harming the Viking’s performance. The athletes and many committed parents have taken these problems with the pool into their own hands. They have set up a fundraising system called ACCEL in order to get funding to make a new Paly aquatic center. ACCEL also helped to fund the all weather track that was installed last year.

You do not have to go far from pool to find another bad athletic facility at Paly, the fields. The fields are used for football in the fall, soccer in the winter, and for baseball and softball in the spring. The fields are well used, but little can be done or is done to fix the fields between seasons.

The football teams tear up the fields and by the time soccer season comes, the winter showers have begun and the fields are in horrible condition. There are patches of dead grass, mud puddles, and holes in the fields. This not only makes it hard for the soccer team to perform well on the fields, but it makes the players more prone to injury.

Many Paly athletes think that it is embarrassing to have such bad facilities.

"We played at Carlmont in the past week in the pouring rain," junior soccer player Pierre Meloty-Kapella said. "They had a beautiful turf field and it didn’t matter that it was raining at all. I was surprised to hear that it was a public school because of their nice facilities. We don’t have that luxury at Paly."

It will take a large wallet to fix all of the problems with the athletic facilities at Paly. With recent budget cuts, there will most likely be very little money in the budget for athletics. To renovate the pool or to construct a turf field is almost out of the question.

The Paly athletes will have to tough it out with the poor facilities for a few more years.