More than 235 Kaua’i youth island-wide flocked to Lydgate Park on Tuesday for the National Youth Sports Program, a nationally-funded sports program based out of the Kaua’i Community College (KCC) campus.
The program, which started a few weeks ago, is headquarted at KCC. Two days a week it moves to either Chiefess Kamakahelei School or the Kaua’i High School Pool. On Tuesday the program moved to Lydgate since the Kaua’i HS pool is currently out of commission.
Shawn Doo, a program coordinator, explained that the youth involved in the program are taught on an instruction-based curriculum rather than just having them play the game.
Instructors for the various sports involved are former KIF athletes who are now playing their respective sports at the college level, such as Kaua’i’s Jason Sahara (volleyball and basketball), Waimea’s Kaulana Soto (soccer), and Kaua’i’s Jason Kashiwabara (volleyball and basketball), to name a few.
“This gives them (the participants) a good idea of college level sports since the program is federally funded through the NCAA program,” Doo explained.
On the Tuesday outing at Lydgate Park, participants were broken down to experience arenas in flag football, volleyball, martial arts, and life-saving water skills.
The program provides free bus transportation from the different areas of the island, free breakfast, free lunch, and each participant receives a program tee-shirt.
The NYSP program, the only one in the state, is coordinated through Bernard Carvalho and the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
This is the second year for the program.