LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek Kawakami was hooked in 10 minutes Sunday, and county councilmembers think pickleball at Kalena Park would be a good thing for the council body to engage in on Wednesdays.
Kawakami was among the many people gathered at the launch of Fitness Week in the Park, engaging in the sport that is growing in popularity across the island.
“Ten minutes and I’m hooked,” Kawakami said. “I need to get the paddles and start practicing. I’m coming back to play.”
Fitness Week in the Park offers people a series of free or minimal-cost activities, ranging from workouts to actual tournament play like the spikeball and pickleball tournaments that close the week on May 23.
At the heart of Fitness Week is the Lihu‘e Loop walking tour through Lihu‘e town, starting and ending at the recently revitalized Kalena Park, where Kaua‘i County Councilmember Luke Evslin joined visiting City &County of Honolulu Councilmember Radiant Cordero, state Rep. Troy Hashimoto of Maui and members of the Young Democrats in painting picnic tables Saturday afternoon.
The Lihu‘e Loop, a self-guided, 1.3-mile walking tour, is the first step in an ongoing project conceived to promote physical activity as part of daily routines, states a release from Get Fit Kaua‘i.
Get Fit Kaua‘i has embraced the information technologies — including the capabilities of the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School media class and the Kaua‘i High School science, technology, engineering and math program — to generate and sustain interest in recreational walking by releasing the first in a set of three informative walking tours that are planned to loop around Lihu‘e’s urban core.
“This has been a collaborative, community-driven project,” said Bev Brody of Get Fit Kaua‘i. “Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School’s media-production students composed the downloadable audio stories featuring community members who talk about Lihu‘e’s unique heritage.
“Students in Kaua‘i High School’s STEM class 3D-printed the QR-code medallions that have been posted at Kalena Park and along Hardy, ‘Eiwa and Rice streets.”
The first 100 people who walk and scan the QR codes posted along the route and register at lihueloop.com will receive a free Lihu‘e Loop bag or hat. People who enjoy the tour and register before May 23 will be eligible to win prizes such as Fit Bits, gift cards and more.
The Lihu‘e Loop is just one part of Fitness Week in the Park that can be enjoyed anytime.
A full schedule of offerings, including barre sculpt classes and free Ho‘ola Zumba today, can be found on kalenapark.com.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.