PBS Hawaii – HIKI NŌ Episode 616 | Konawaena High School | Sticking With Lacrosse

PBS Hawaii – HIKI NŌ Episode 616 | Konawaena High School | Sticking With Lacrosse

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[CHEERING] A fast, physical and challenging sport has
arrived at Konawaena High School in Kealakekua, Hawaii.
Lacrosse is a true American sport. It was started by Native Americans and was originally
known as Medicine Game. Now, Konawaena P.E. teacher
Daniel Curran is on a mission to develop lacrosse into a
mainstream activity in Hawaii. You see kids walking around campus with lacrosse
sticks, or buying their own equipment, or watching
videos on their own. I think the level of interest and commitment is there. And I also
have to keep in mind that this is a brand new sport, and it’s
got to be fun. You got to teach the love of the game. I think
with the level of talent that we have, especially here at Konawaena, we have some athletes that
could really excel in the game of lacrosse. And
I think it’s a great cross-training sport for our football players in
the spring. Starting a lacrosse team in Hawaii has unique
challenges. As the head of the only other lacrosse team on
the island, Hawaii Preparatory Academy coach Will Zucker knows them all too well. You’re taking a sport that has, you know,
really, zero awareness within the community and trying to get
buy-in from kids, from schools, from administrators, and from parents who say, Hey, this is a foreign
sport to you guys, but you know, we’re here to stay. So, we’re recruiting. This is difficult.
And obviously, when you start a lacrosse program,
and I’ve been through this many times, you’re competing
against other sports in your same season. So, there’s that issue. There’s the fact that
there aren’t many schools to play. And that’s probably our biggest
obstacle here on the Big Island. Hawaii is the third team. Punahou School on
Oahu occasionally flies over for games. But even on the
same island, travel is difficult. And I know that there’s obstacles that we
face here at Konawaena, biggest one being travel. A lot of our
kids come from Ocean View, which is an hour-and-a-half commute, and they have to ride the bus after
practice, and they don’t get home until eight, eight-thirty, later at night. Young men and women practice and compete together
on the same team. They joined lacrosse for different reasons. The most interesting thing I like about lacrosse
is its heritage, its Native American backgrounds. And I’m
Native American myself, so it’s nice to play something that is historical to my blood. I joined lacrosse ’cause I seen it as like
an open way for me to join a sport, and my friends wanted a sport
to join. So, when they said that lacrosse was going to be fun, I jumped in. Those who play it say lacrosse is more than
just a sport. It bonds players beyond the field. I had a coach that told me one time that,
If you were to be hitchhiking anywhere, and you got a lacrosse
stick over your shoulder, if another lacrosse player drove by you, they would pick you up.
Because that is how close of a community lacrosse is. And
that’s what I want these kids to experience. I want them to
experience that community. This is Shomesh Tamilselvan from Konawaena
High School, for HIKI NŌ. [INDISTINCT]

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