Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2023|
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PoliOlevao-Kahopea’s A Mothers Prayer finds safe space.
The New Year approaches with a level of advancement in Big Island volleyball that can best be summarized in three words:
Bigger. Better. More.
That’s more than just a wish and a hope, it’s something you can count on, thanks to the efforts of A Mothers Prayer and Gilbert Aguinaldo, owner of Big Island Electrical Service in Keaau.
Because of them, you can expect more growth in AMP, which ends 2019 with five girls’ squads, including two 12-year-old teams and one each in the 10-, 14- and 16-year-old age groups. Aguinaldo has a daughter on the 16-year-old team and has essentially donated a warehouse space at 140B Holomua for the purpose of developing a volleyball space run by the club and its director, Poli Olevao-Kahopea.
“It’s huge for us, and, really, for all of volleyball on the Big Island,” Olevao-Kahopea said. “Now we have our own space, and we’re the only club on the Big Island that has its own training center. We have enough room for a plyometrics area with its own instructor, so there won’t be any more travels across the island to find a space to practice, which has happened in the past.
“Basically, we can practice anytime we want, on our schedule,” she said. “What happens often is that you find a space to practice that works for most, but not all your players, so some in school or maybe in a job situation can’t always make it.
“Now, we can practice in the morning, afternoon or evening, whatever works.”
Over the summer, Olevao-Kahapea was giving a private lesson to Aguinaldo’s daughter and after the session got in a conversation with him about the challenges of finding times that work for everyone.
“He just said, ‘What if we had our own facility,’ and from there, it took off,” she said. “We are blessed to have him with us and to be a part of our growth.”
The floor is going to be resurfaced in January and the club hopes to open the new facility by the end of the first month of the new year, with big plans.
“We want to host tournaments and have games there, and maybe we can get more teams of various ages, and yes, boys teams, too, really any volleyball teams or clubs can potentially use it,” Olevao-Kahapea said. “We want to have a volleyball combine that would be publicized and would draw college scouts and recruiters seeking volleyball talent.
“Our basic goal is to be a supportive, family-type organization with the main focus to get kids into college, not just to go to school, but to develop good character and be strong people in their community.
“If we can attract college recruiters we can help those kids get some scholarship money and that’s good for the schools, good for individuals, it’s a win-win.”
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The Challenge of the Hill
Maybe you’ve been thinking about it, thinking you might be able to finish even if you know you’ll be walking after every couple of miles, but putting off the decision.
Could be, instead of taking on the whole thing by yourself, you will consider being part of a relay team.
Either way, the time to think about it is over, it’s time to do something.
Registration for the iconic Hilo-to-Volcano ultra marathon on Jan. 4 closes Thursday, midnight, Jan. 2, and if you’re a long distance runner, it can be said without fear of contradiction that there’s nothing else like it, a 31.1-mile excursion from Coconut Island to Volcano, from sea level to 4,000 feet elevation, primarily using the wide shoulder on highway 11.
You go into a lot of runs knowing there will, at least, be a standard temperature you can rely on, but in this one, it could be in the 40s and dark, with rain showers at the start at in the 80s and bright sunshine along the route or at the finish.
The good news is that your time is inconsequential, you can consider that after you’ve done it a few times, but this is the quintessential example of finishing is winning, and everyone who finishes gets a medal, with a cutoff time of 7 hours, 30 minutes.
The $40 entry fee includes a long-sleeved t-shirt. Late entries are not guaranteed a shirt. For further information, call race director Bob Wedeman at 464.0333.
Boxing Is Back
They dipped their toes, tentatively, in 2019 and they found the proverbial water to their liking, so pastor Lorin Carmichael at Sure Foundation in Puna and Hi-PAL, the Hawaii Island Police Activities League, seem prepared to move ahead with a series of amateur boxing cards at the church near Pahoa.
The two groups put on three amateur cards this year and then went back to their organizations to review, get feedback and consider the future.
“I think it looks good,” Carmichael said earlier this week, “ we haven’t decided on anything, but what we did was well-attended, people seemed to enjoy it.
“We are going to be meeting early in January and while there’s nothing definite as far as dates or how may or whatever, I’d say it’s in the works and we need to work out the details.”
The new year may bring more amateur cards than the trio of boxing events that were held this year.
“We’re thinking about the possibility of hosting one of these a month, at least through June, and then see where we are,” Carmichael said. “When you bring the full crowds we had and everyone seemed to like it, to me, that says, ‘Let’s do more.’”
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