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Peekskill Native Runs Non-Profit Youth Program In California

John Bagala
John Bagala Photo Credit: Contributed

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- John Bagala, a native from Peekskill, is keeping kids in California active.

Bagala, who lives in Bakersfield, runs FUN Sports,  a not for profit youth sports program where kids play soccer, flag football, basketball, and baseball. More than 1,000 kids, from ages three to 11, participate in the program. As part of the program, Bagala also teaches them about Christianity.

After graduating from Peekskill High School, Bagala went to college in Missouri, where he graduated in Parks and Recreation. He then moved out to California to run a beach and eventually settled in Bakersfield, where he was CEO of the YMCA.

"I felt they weren't putting Christ first," Bagala said. "I just couldn't do it anymore. It was a good time for me to leave."

At FUN Sports, Balaga said he makes sure parents are involved and stay for the practices.

"We make it a family day," Bagala said. "We're the cheapest soccer program in Bakersfield. Everything we make, we put back into the program."

While the program aims to spread the word of Jesus Christ, Bagala said kids from all backgrounds join the program.

"We're not here to offend anyone," Bagala said. "We're here to get the word out about Christ."

Bagala places an emphasis on playing the game the right way and not on winning and losing.

"There's no yelling or swearing," Bagala said. "It's a great place to learn a game. We're very mellow.

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