Kekaulike... Imua! Kulani's JV 1 Girls wraps up a dominant season with a win in the finale. YES!

January 25th, 2014, 11am

It was 25.6°C with few clouds. The breeze was brisk.

My hanai kid Kulani is the girl with the jersey covered in sand. Her step-brother Puki had greeted her at the end of the victor’s tunnel with a fistful of the stuff (akin to ‘caking’ a birthday celebrant).

This is Kulani’s first full season as a member of an athletic team at school, and we are so proud of the way she persevered (and thrived!) in this sport. Finally, an extra-curricular activity she has taken to. Over the years she’d tried tae-kwan-do, swimming, hula… nothing really took. Until paddling, a year or so ago. First club, with Lae’ula O Kai then school.

It’s quite likely that of all 50 US states, Hawaii is the only one where canoe paddling is a sanctioned high school athletic sport. For obvious reasons. The smiles of the young women above are a witness to the fact that the sport is wholesome, their demeanor suggestive of the fact that it is competitive, their accoutrements a testimony that there is more to high school athletics in Hawaii than the usual.

Sanna, Chris and Cassie said thanks.

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Lloyd Nebres

I lived in a village and homestead set aside for people of Hawaiian ancestry. I am not Hawaiian but had been adopted into the culture—to my profound gratitude.

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