Hawaii Athletes Receive Educational Scholarships

Joe Broc
Joe Broc

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Entering it's fourth year here in Hawaii, the annual "Swim With Mike" Swim-A-Thon, will award two more Hawaii-based disabled athletes, with educational scholarships.

And the common thread that runs through each of these athletes, is their unconquerable spirit to succeed.

Hawaii Pacific University student Joe Broc was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that limits the mobility of his legs. But that hasn't stopped Broc from pursuing life to the fullest.

"In 7th grade, I got into canoe paddling, and just been continuing with that ever since 7th grade," said Broc.

Broc is one of this year's recipients for the physically challenged athletes scholarship, he's participated in the Swim-A-Thon before, but is honored to receive it this year.

"It gives me a chance to continue my education, and pursue my goals and career in life after college," Broc said.

The other Hawaii recipient is Tusi Mailo, a BYU-Hawaii student seen here in last year's event.

Organizers say, these scholarships can make all the difference.

"It's pretty extensive and pretty inspirational when you talk to these kids and you see what this is helping them do with their lives," said Kaia Hedlund, Swim With Mike Hawaii Director.

And Broc is hoping to inspire the lives of other physically challenged athletes encouraging them to be active in pursuing whatever passions they have in life.

"It doesn't really matter what people think, just go out in public, do what you want to do, that's all you can do, just go with whatever you want to do in life," said Broc.

Broc is currently studying speech communications at HPU but he says he's also pursuing another dream of his -- to be a comedian.

The Swim-A-Thon is Saturday at the Duke Kahanamoku pool from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.