Albuquerque mom creates app to help parents find youth sports teams

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Think Yelp, but for local youth sports. Now, you can write and find reviews for your child’s coaches and teams thanks to an Albuquerque parent’s creation.

The website is called Ponatos. It’s designed to help parents communicate with each other, and share their experiences with different youth sports teams within the city.

Anita Hopkins said her niece doesn’t play volleyball anymore.

“She encouraged the other kids to pick on my niece to the point where she was crying at one of the games and didn’t want to play anymore. They almost had to forfeit the game because she wouldn’t play,” she said.

All because of a terrible experience with a coach. It’s this very situation that led Rachel Yarrington to an idea.

“Here’s Ponatos.com,” she said. “My kids’ not having fun, and I’m not impressed, and the product I thought I paid for wasn’t delivered. So, that frustration and discouragement was how I came up with this idea,” Yarrington continued.

It’s a website designed for parents. A place to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences they’ve had with youth sports leagues and teams in Albuquerque.

“To keep the organized sports leagues accountable, and also to keep us parents in the know because like I said, we don’t have time,” said Yarrington.

She and her co-founder created the web app for the UNM App Contest earlier this year. It ended up winning the “Women in Tech Award” and a thousand dollars.

Parents like Hopkins said going forward, she plans on using it.

“Yeah, I totally would. Yeah because even when my kids were playing sports, there were coaches my kids just weren’t comfortable with and we would want other people to know about it,” said Hopkins.

As of now, Ponatos only has Albuquerque teams and leagues listed on the website.

Yarrington is not closed off to the idea of expanding state, even nationwide.

“I think if we could collaborate, and build a base of knowledge on how to proceed with this, then it can be a revolution,” she said.

She is considering designing a mobile app. The website is still growing, but has 13 reviews so far.

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