Since sprouting to existence in 1969, the Padres have rallied West Coast baseball fans with two National League pennants?most recently in 1998?and several Hall of Fame players, including base-hit machine Tony Gwynn. For 33 years, the club shared Qualcomm Stadium's turf with the San Diego Chargers; in 2004, the gates to Petco Park swung open. A celebration of the region's natural surroundings and cultural diversity, Petco Park enhances ballgames with views of the San Diego skyline and the reutilized fa?ade of the Western Metal Supply Company building in the left-field corner, which faces the audience and houses a souvenir shop, a restaurant, and party suites. The stadium's right-centerfield area features "Park at the Park" seating?a grassy slope that rises above outfield walls, letting fans sprawl out and watch games for a reduced price.
Many 5K races try to drum up enthusiasm with costume contests, obstacles, and other bells and whistles. But not the After Dark Dash. As its official website states, the race promises, ?No fads. No gimmicks. Just you, the pavement, and the city lights.? Yes, this race is all business?at least, until the race ends, when runners are treated to beverages, fresh eats, and music at a local hangout.
The race series takes over four US cities?San Diego, Sacramento, Boise, and Denver?and uses the simplicity of the city lights as a backdrop for each meditative jaunt. Courses zigzag through some of the hippest neighborhoods and historic districts in town, presenting runners with the chance to simultaneously explore new areas and the limits of their tender Achilles tendons.
Named after the legendary team from Argentina where soccer star Diego Maradona got his start, the San Diego Boca Futbol Club follows in the fleet footsteps of its titular inspiration by promoting professional and youth soccer through its involvement in the National Premier Soccer League. Herds of brightly bedecked athletes rampage across an enormous plain to earn the confidence of a whirling, chiaroscuro globe by wooing it with feats of balance and head butting. Intersperse zigs, zags, and zips with soda sips, hot-dog bites, and vuvuzela renditions of Gary Glitter B-sides. This year’s team of cleated kickers booted their way to a fourth-place ranking in the league’s western division, leaving trembling blades of glass in their wake. With recently acquired Brazilian midfielder Zé Roberto and goal-scoring leader Justin Picou leading the charge toward postseason play, fans may redeem today's Groupon for home playoff games.
Harlem Globetrotters Playing Three-on-Five
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating [roster](http://gr.pn/PHdb6w) of Globetrotter favorites?including three female players?takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard [TNT](http://gr.pn/rOe0P4) sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker [Quake](http://gr.pn/QTIGVh), whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 [Too Tall](http://gr.pn/PHdmPh) and 7-foot-4 [Stretch](http://gr.pn/1dYrbUt), the team?s tallest member. During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters? extensive travels haven?t gone unnoticed: they?re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
Over the course of its 22-year existence, Ocean Experience Surf School has helped somewhere in the neighborhood of over 15,000 students to safely discover and refine their passion for watersports. Students 6 or older hop atop surfboards, paddleboards, and kayaks for on-the-water practice under the care of experienced instructors during private lessons and group classes.
The local press and community showers the school's companion retail outlet with praise, which won both the Best Surf Shop and Best Skate Shop in CityBeat's 2010 Readers' Poll. In an effort to give back to the community, the organization runs an afterschool sports program offering surfing and skateboarding lessons to kids up to 18 years old and adults with a note from a certified kindergarten teacher.
At Victory Gymnastics Academy, the gymnastics instructors don't just train kids to do the splits and flip effortlessly into handstands. In boys' freestyle gymnastics classes, they also train kids to overcome any physical obstacle?including a solid wall?through a mix of jumping, crawling, and climbing. A direct descendant of parkour, the sport only differs in one major way: it takes place inside, and the practice obstacles are padded, a setup that puts safety first.
The instructor's emphasize safety in their other courses, too. Sessions for preschoolers, for instance, unfold on scaled-down, age-appropriate equipment. During tumbling classes, kids try out handsprings and backtucks, finishing their new moves in an in-ground foam pit that minimizes the risk of injuries. Regardless of whether they're leading a recreation class or a competitive team practice, coaches supervise and correct kids' form, too, as when beginning gymnasts perform handstands by just standing upright and gazing at their hands.