KILAUEA — The Kauai Interscholastic Federation sports league has a new member.
Kauai Christian Academy, with a student population of 62 students in preschool through grade 12, elected to become a part of the KIF program.
“This is the first year KCA will be participating,” said Lyndsey Haraguchi, KCA board member, on Tuesday. “We’re going to start small and have participants in cross country, track and field and golf. We’ll see how this first year goes, and grow from there.”
Chris Cullen, whose daughter is a preschool student at KCA, stepped forward as the school’s athletic director, indicating he was planning on attending the KIF athletic directors meeting.
“The interest has always been there,” Cullen said. “Last year, we sent out a questionnaire on the subject, asking which sports they have an interest in. This is the result of that survey.”
Kim Mohler, an instructor with the Kauai Athletic Club, has filled the running coach position.
“Right now, it’s a make-as-you go program,” Mohler said. “I found some exercises online, and some of the coaches from the other schools have helped me develop our pre-run exercises. All of the schools I’ve worked with have been supportive.”
Daniel Plunkett, KCA principal, said they have always had students leave to play sports.
“If we offer team sports, perhaps we will be able to keep more of our students,” Plunkett said. “We’ve toyed with the idea of working with Island School, but that has been an on-and-off topic. We want more students in the area to see and realize the opportunities sports provides.”
Mohler said the KIF has a long tradition, and one of the KCA students was able to participate through a loophole.
“I don’t really know what the KIF policy is,” Mohler said. “But in order for the student to participate, she was going to school here, but had to enroll in the Myron B. Thompson academy to be able to have the exemption to play.”
Haraguchi played sports while a student at Kapaa High School and she knows how exciting the new opportunity is.
“I’ve been pushing for this for three years,” Haraguchi said. “To see this program start is monumental for the North Shore. I’m really excited because the KIF has been so supportive in our efforts.”