Keiki campers come ‘Off the Bench’

KALAHEO — More than 300 keiki were on the fields Wednesday celebrating the mid-point of the Kauai Sports Camps in Kalaheo and Wailua.

“This is my most favorite week of the summer,” said Kristi Akamine, who along with Eileen Taba and VernaSchoftsall, lead the Kalaheo site. “To see all of these kids running and laughing on the fields is a warm feeling. My daughter grew up going to camp, and this year, made age to be a volunteer. To watch her give back to the community is an indescribably warm feeling.”

Parents desire positive input into the lives of their children, and kids don’t like “boring,” states the Kauai Sports Camp website.

The Kauai Sports Camp utilizes a mixture of music, Bible-inspired values, positive role models, and quality instruction to keep youngsters from age 4 through 12 energized and motivated through the week-long experience in Kalaheo at the Kato Gym, and in Wailua at the Wailua Houselots Park.

Working through life lessons, sports training in the field of soccer, basketball, flag football and cheerleading are also part of the curriculum.

Kalaheo fielded more than 200 youngsters with the help of approximately 60 volunteers while Wailua reported an enrollment of more than 100 campers with approximately 40 volunteers.

“This is a great turnout,” Akamine said. “Wailua, under the leadership of Rae Nam and Susan Riddle, doubled its enrollment, and this year, we added the 4-and 5-year old group called Team 45s. That group was sold out in Kalaheo almost as soon as it was announced, and Wailua has had good response for those ages as well.”

Anna Flint, who earlier in March came to Kauai for the first-ever Unchartered Waters Jump Rope Clinic in Kalaheo and Kapaa, returns as the leader of the Unchartered Waters sports ministry team.

“She’s injured, so in line with the theme of ‘Off the Bench,’ her team steps up to keep the camp rolling along,” Akamine said. “There’s lessons in almost everything the campers do.”

Akamine said there are a number of community organizations that step up to make the camps possible.

The Antone and Edene Vidinha Trust provided scholarships for 70 children from the Boys & Girls Club, Lihue Clubhouse, to attend camp, take care of the daily bus transportation, as well as for the soccer balls and basketballs, replacement sneakers, lunch and snacks for the Kalaheo campers.

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• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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