Detroit PAL History

Our story
In 1969, Detroit’s Police Athletic League was founded. Led by many of the biggest names in Detroit sports, it gave children an opportunity to learn through athletics. And develop the confidence and motivation to go far in life.

In 1996, two young lawyers, Mike Tenbusch and Dan Varner, founded Think Detroit. Designed as an alternative to Detroit’s existing youth sports leagues, Think Detroit quickly drew children to its leagues.

Realizing that together they could best serve Detroit’s youth population, the two leagues merged in 2006 to create Detroit PAL. With year-round programs that star more than 10,000 young athletes and hundreds of coaches, Detroit PAL helps its athletes learn the skills needed to succeed both on and off the playing field.

As our organization heads into the future, we haven’t forgotten why our leagues were founded in the first place. And we look forward to giving the youth of Detroit a positive outlet for many years to come.

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