HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mufi Hannemann unveiled a plan to revamp the state's athletic programs on Thursday. His "Smart Moves" initiative focuses on building a healthier lifestyle for students.
If elected governor, Hannemann said he'd make physical education mandatory again, for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
In response to the WAC shake-up, with Boise leaving the conference, and possibly Nevada and Fresno, Hannemann also proposed expanding the University of Hawaii athletics program to Asia and the Pacific rim. He said that may include adding countries like Japan, Korea, and China to the roster.
Hannemann says that could also help bring in tourism dollars.
When asked how much his vision would cost, Hannemann said the money is already there: "The state obviously has nearly $70 million in Hawaii Tourism Authority Marketing money," and continued, "So we're not talking about adding additional dollars per se. But we're really now going to be incorporating sports in the marketing of UH."
Hannemann said right now, it's just an idea, and that he still needs to talk to U.H. athletics director, Jim Donovan, about how to execute it.
Hannemann's rival, Neil Abercrombie, did not wish to discuss the plan.