UH athletes coach Kaua‘i kids

PUHI — Shawn Higa, one of three University of Hawai‘i soccer players at the Speed and Quickness soccer clinic yesterday at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, was surprised when she was asked for her autograph by young soccer players.

Obliging the youngsters, Higa suggested, “Ask Jessica (Domingo) for hers, too. She’ll be happy to sign your ball.”

Higa was joined by All-WAC players Lehua Wood and Domingo, along with Hawai‘i assistant soccer coach Joshua Fouts and Rich Miano in hosting the free clinic for Kaua‘i’s youth.

More than 160 students from age 6 on up took in the clinics in its first two days.

The three-day event began Tuesday at Waimea High School with many of the older students, 13 and above. The circuit wraps up today at Kapa‘a High School.

Roy Nishida, the Kaua‘i coordinator for Speed and Quickness, said, “This is way better than last year. We have a lot more students taking advantage of this free event.”

Nishida pointed out that the county’s Summer Fun students were among the Wednesday morning attendees.

Following the soccer clinic, Miano will return Friday with a host of coaches from the UH football program as well as Mel DeLaura, co-founder of the Speed and Quickness program, to conduct a three-day football clinic at Vidinha Stadium.

Sponsored by Kaua‘i County, Nishida said the clinics are designed to accommodate the needs and learning abilities of its attendees.

For example, he said the Wednesday program at Chiefess Kamakahelei was stepped up because of the number of students who returned for a second day of training.

Each day of the football clinic will start with a session from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. for youngsters from 6 to 12 years. Teens age 13 and older are invited to attend the 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. session.

Following the football clinic, which wraps up Sunday, Speed and Quickness will finish its Kaua‘i tour with a volleyball clinic next week from Tuesday through Thursday.

For more information on the football clinic, check the Sports section of today’s paper.

For more information on the clinics, call Nishida at 635-6676.

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