‘It’s all about the kids’

LIHUE — Nearly 700 keiki from ages 5 through 10 welcomed Saturday morning at the North Vidinha Stadium fields under the Kauai Police Activities League.

Barry Deblake, who worked at the program last Saturday, said keiki play in three divisions: the Cubs, 5 and 6 years old, followed by the Bobcats for keiki 7 and 8 years old, and the Troopers accomodating kids 9 and 10 years old.

Saturday marked the third week that K-PAL flag football has wakened the North Vidinha fields. The league opened on June 15 in the shadow of the Kamehameha Day parade.

“We went over to let people know we had a food booth and they were welcome to come and support the program,” Deblake said. “We also have supporter wear which people can wear proudly to support the KPAL program. These shirts, available in a rainbow of colors, are available at the games for $10, $11, and $12 donations.”

Deblake said the program, under the leadership of Kauai Police Department officer Mark Ozaki, keeps kids off the streets and away from the unhealthy distractions.

“A lot of them go on to high school, and even college football,” Deblake said. “We have officials and KPAL volunteers who were once flag football players.”

He added it is a true family event.

“Where else are you going to find policemen, firemen, court judges, and community leaders in the same place at the same time having fun with everyone else?” Deblake said. “This is real family and community.”

Billy DeCosta, a coach for one of the KPAL teams, said everything is for the kids.

“We have volunteers,” DeCosta said. “We don’t tell them ‘no,’ because they are coming out for the kids. It’s all about the kids.”

The KPAL flag football program plays Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. with no admission being charged to watch the games. Games continue through mid-July and people are asked to support the players and the KPAL program by patronizing the food booth and wearing supporter wear.

The access road to the Vidinha Stadium parking lot is closed during the duration of the KPAL flag football games for safety of the players.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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