The Sports Club That Wouldn’t Quit

Punto Azul is slowly recovering after Lidia
BY: MADELINE GROVE

Like many businesses, the Punto Azul sports center found itself flooded by Tropical Storm Lidia.

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The sports facility (which used to be called La Huerta) is located on Camino Viejo in San Jose, along the outskirts of the estuary, near the organic market. The multifaceted complex, complete with tennis courts, very large lap pool, soccer field and indoor rooms for lessons and activities, was flooded with six to nine inches of water in various areas. The sports center is popular with middle class and wealthy Mexicans, and all the programs are in Spanish.

The large pool was completely filled up with mud, and the tennis courts, soccer field and green areas were severely damaged trees were knocked down and plants were lost. The electricity and plumbing at the facility were wrecked.

Punto Azul has been working to get the club back into shape ever since. The first order of business was to remove all the muck and trash, which included about 70 tires, sheets, doors, refrigerators, grocery bags and styrofoam that was washed down from the hills. Once all that junk was cleared away, the cleaning and renovation efforts could begin.

Tennis classes, which had been moved to the new courts at Palmilla, resumed at Punto Azul in late October, even though the courts were not in tip top shape. Swimming lessons resumed after they fixed the pool in early November, but, the soccer team has yet to come back. The soccer team is playing on public fields for now.

The restaurant, which was completely trashed during the storm, hasn’t been in working condition since. Jonathan Laur Hernández Aranda, the club administrator, said there is a big cafeteria project underway. The outdoor cafe space will be turned into an indoor restaurant, which will offer a broader menu, including meat and seafood.

Although the club isn’t 100% patched up yet, plans for new programs and expansions are already in place. Starting this year, the club will offer basic English classes and homework tutoring. Handball will be one of the club’s new athletic options, and one of the four tennis courts has been turned into a pickleball court. Pickleball is a fairly new sport down here in Baja California Sur, but is quickly gaining popularity. In fact the pickleball courts at the club are the only part of this sports complex that is popular with the foreign community. They pay rent to play there, and that’s a big boost to the complex.