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Pasadena Wins Awards for Service, Innovation in Youth Sports Programs

Published on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 11:19 am

Pasadena’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department has been awarded two honors from the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation for outstanding service in 2019, as well as innovative sports programming amid the pandemic in 2020, according to city officials.

Recreation Coordinator John Chacon was selected for the service award for his work at organizing a “very successful” flag football tournament for middle-schoolers at the Rose Bowl in 2019, said Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department Director Brenda Harvey-Williams.

“We are also quite fortunate to have won that tournament,” she added.

The SCMAF Service Awards are handed out “for an exceptional contribution to the Federation… or for outstanding service to the Federation,” City Manager Steve Mermell said on Jan. 21 in his weekly newsletter.

The Innovative Sports Programming Award stemmed from the city’s outdoor flag football training program amid the pandemic in 2020, officials said.

“Due to the pandemic, youth sports games and practices are not allowed, but training and conditioning are,” Harvey-Williams explained. “With this in mind, our recreation staff developed outdoor training programs for football and soccer.”

“The football training took place at Robinson Park and was quite successful and received positive feedback from parents,” Harvey-Williams said. “Many parents were happy to have their kids outside in a setting that followed all COVID safety protocols.”

The program was made possible “in large part” because the city of Pasadena is one of only two cities in L.A. County with its own municipal health department, according to Harvey-Williams. The other city is Long Beach.

“The Pasadena Public Health Department reviewed and approved all of the safety measures we took and the result was eight weeks of programming with no COVID cases,” she said. “I can’t stress enough that having our own [public health] department to advise us made the difference. I am aware of another city that had to discontinue their outside recreation classes due to a COVID outbreak.”

More information on Pasadena Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department programming is available online at

More information on the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation can be found online at

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