LIHU’E — Kaua’i Police Activities League (K-PAL) only recently closed its 2005 wrestling/ju jitsu calendar, but members are anxiously awaiting the resumption of the 2006 calendar.
Officer Mark Ozaki, K-PAL’s coordinator, said the 2006 wrestling/ju jitsu calendar will start the second Tuesday and Thursday in January at the Chiefess Kamakahelei School.
But what is getting Ozaki and the rest of the K-PAL Board excited is the arrival of wrestling mats that will enable them to establish two other sites on the island in January.
Ozaki said that each mat will measure 42×42 and conform to high school and collegiate standards. One mat, consisting of seven rolls, will go to Kapa’a Middle School and the other will be set up at the Boys & Girls Club’s Waimea Clubhouse, where K-PAL has reached an agreement to work the program at the B&G facility.
With the assistance of Falko Partners, K-PAL was able to acquire the $24,000 worth of equipment in time for the 2006 calendar, and in the spirit of the season, Kaua’i Commercial has agreed to provide the ground transportation to both the Kapa’a and Waimea sites.
Ozaki said that prior to the establishment of the K-PAL program, competition wrestling was unheard of here.
Last year, K-PAL fielded a team at the state tournament on Maui for the first time. Of the 15 competitors who travelled to the Valley Isle, Ozaki said they returned with one state champion, Todd Kane, who graduated from Kaua’i High School in June and is currently wrestling and playing football at MIT.
Additionally, the team returned with eight medalists including one female, Kylie Andrade, a student at Kaua’i High School.
These students are registered at the Chiefess Kamakahelei School program, and Ozaki said similar programs will be established in Kapa’a and Waimea, resulting in Kaua’i being able to field three teams for off-island tournaments.
There are about 100 students between the ages of 9 and 19 years old registered at the Chiefess Kamakahelei location, and Ozaki anticipates similar responses in their new locations.
Ozaki said formal procedures for registration will probably wait until the equipment is in place at Kapa’a and Waimea sometime in January.
However, he added that Waimea High School teacher Paul Zina has stepped forward to coach the Waimea site, and has information on registration there.
For more information, people may contact Ozaki at 652-6999.
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com.