Community plea reopens Mililani inline hockey rink to immediate success
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The inline hockey rink at Kaoma’aiku neighborhood park in Mililani has been shut down since the pandemic.
However, after a plea from the community at one of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s town hall meetings, the sounds of hockey sticks tapping and pucks dropping have returned to Central Oahu.
During Blangiardi’s Mililani town hall meeting — members of Hawaii Inline Hockey Incorporated brought attention to their dilapidated rink. After the meeting, the city soon reopened and repainted the rink.
“Well, you know, the team showed up and the parents showed up and they said we have a rink in Mililani, but it’s, you know, it’s not accessible and it’s not really in the best state of repair,” Blangiardi told Hawaii News Now.
“So we did something about that.”
A full circle moment for the league leaders who remember their parents petitioning to build the rink back in the 2000s.
“Coming back to our own community, getting players from the same neighborhood right across the street,” HiHi President Kimo Chun said. “Players are coming in and we’re just building it.”
HiHi put it to good use, quickly re-establishing their organization in Mililani, then recently sending two teams up to the TORHS regional tournament in California.
They came back with a gold and silver medal in the 8-and-under and 10-and-under divisions respectively.
It was another chance for local youth athletes to showcase the talent of the islands.
“It’s really cool because not that many people actually play hockey on this island.” HiHi player Kingston Saguibo said. “So would you expect the island that’s in the middle of the ocean to beat mainland teams?”
Despite the recent success of the team, there’s still more work to be done on the rink, but organizers say this is a big first step. “From the first time in the town hall till now, just the full support of the mayor and the city.” Chun said. “You can really tell he cares about the youth.”
To learn more about Hawaii Inline Hockey Inc., click here.
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