Sponsors already riding high school surfing wave - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sponsors already riding high school surfing wave

Board of Education Chair Don Horner Board of Education Chair Don Horner
Keith Amemiya Keith Amemiya
Iris Kahaulelio Iris Kahaulelio

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Education is excited about surfing and apparently so are sponsors.

The state has already raised $50,000 of the $150,000 they need to get surfing up and running as a competitive high school sport.  It's a good sign since they haven't started formally fundraising yet.

They aren't saying which companies have stepped forward just yet but they will once they get the blessing and the check is in hand. They are also open to the idea of an exclusive sponsorship if a company is willing to pay.

"Every sport has their champions in terms of coming to the rescue and helping fundraise and we think and hope surfing is no different," said Keith Amemiya, Board of Education member, who has also taken the lead on fundraising efforts. "There's a lot of interest from the surf industry which makes sense."

My big push and how I started was having students write letters to the superintendent why they surf, why it's important to them, how the team helps the community, how they want to be recognized as an athlete just like other athletes," said Iris Kahaulelio, Kahuku High School teacher and surf club coach.

Kahaulelio has coached surfing since 1996.  The Board of Education Chair Don Horner publicly thanked and credited her for bringing surfing to this point and even said there should be a surfing trophy in her honor.

Horner also said if surfing is successful and the state does not have to use taxpayer money to support it, they may introduce more new sports in the future.

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