Hundreds of children could run out of space to practice baseball and softball in Torrance.

Just 2020 begins and in the city of Torrance, hundreds of children and their families worry about knowing what the future of the little ones in the sport will be.

Raúl Pérez, father of a family and coach of the North Torrance Little League baseball team, said they fear the Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) will sell the town where boys have played since 1955. Additionally, there is a significant group of girls who also Use the field to play softball.

Perez said two or three years ago the TUSD saw that the Hamilton Adult Education Center location was not being occupied by the district. The school serves adults with disabilities and adult English learners.

However, they ignored that the field of the educational institute is very often occupied by small athletes.

“They tried to sell the place and said they would change us to another place,” said Pérez.

"We will not be fine if (they sell) since they have not given us other options," Raul added, asserting that Torrance has a lack of green spaces. "We don't see that this is fair to us because other places like West Torrance have their driving range, but in North Torrance they always leave us in second place."

The future of hundreds of sports children could be in danger if they lose their field of practice. (Supplied)

North Torrance is known for having a significant minority population, especially Latinos.

Renee Pérez, Raúl's wife, said that if the camp closed, around 500 children aged 4 to 12 would be affected.

It is estimated that about 60% of boys who play baseball are Latino and 90% of girls who play softball are Latino.

“Here he is busy all the time. If children are not practicing, there is play. In baseball we have 12 teams, ”said the coach.

The couple, who also has a son who plays baseball in the North Torrance Little League, said that, although they have asked for support, unfortunately the city hall of the city of Torrance does not want to get involved.

"If they close the school, it's not just about closing the field for the children, they would also be closing a school that helps adults," Renee said.

Raúl with his son Mateo and his wife Renee Pérez. Mateo plays in the North Torrance Little League. (Supplied)

The Opinion tried to get a comment from TUSD, but in an email spokeswoman Tammy Khan said they were on winter vacations until January 6.

However, in November Don Lee, a member of the TUSD, wrote on the North Torrance Little League Facebook page, that Hamilton has already been declared a surplus and the exemption is to allow a lease application process. He said that at the moment TUSD does not plan to sell the site.

"The Board has not made decisions regarding the future of the Hamilton site and, frankly, we have no current plans to do so," said Lee. “That said, future Boards may decide to change the purpose of the site for the benefit of all TUSD children and, as the Board has said from day one, if TUSD decides to reuse this site, they will relocate North Torrance Little League and North Torrance Girls Softball in such a good place, if not better, in North Torrance. ”

Lee added that leasing the location could benefit students since TUSD does not receive as many monetary funds as other school districts such as LAUSD in Los Angeles.

"This lease could generate more than $ 3,000,000 a year without raising anyone's taxes, unlike other local school districts that have increased local taxes to create local income," Lee said.

However, Pérez said he and the families hope that the motion will not be reintroduced where they could lose the playing field.

“This field is a pillar for the community. It's all for many children who enjoy the sport, ”said Pérez.


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