The best that sport can offer to us
Friday - January 04, 2008
With all the promise the new year brings, it seems appropriate to recognize those in sports who have inspired and amazed us all.
To June Jones and the Warrior football team, whose wonderful season touched us all: You have demonstrated what can be accomplished with perseverance, commitment and unity. You will always be remembered for the way you played for each other, and for all of us.
To Tadd Fujikawa, proof that great things come in small packages: Your unfailing good nature and prodigious work ethic will take you to lofty places both on and off the golf course.
To Nolan Tokuda and the Leilehua Mules: Your spectacular route to the state football championship set a shining example of overcoming adversity and staying the course. When many wrote your team off, you always found a way when it mattered most.
To all the youth coaches who give so selflessly of their time, and who spend countless hours teaching our children how to hold a bat, dribble a ball, to paddle a canoe, set volleyball and enjoy fair competition: It is your efforts, unpaid and often unrecognized, that give the youth of Hawaii their first taste of the joys of sport. Many of them are receiving guidance and love from you that they don’t get anywhere else.
And to all the moms and dads who drive the vans, supply the potlucks, cut the oranges and haul the equipment; to everyone who rubs bruises and bandages knees: It is you who impart the valuable lessons that sport offers, and it is your commitment to children - your own and others - that helps our young people grow into adults who will in turn deliver those lessons to their children. May that circle be unbroken.
At its best, sport teaches us about others and ourselves. It builds our bodies and strengthens our spirits. It demands our resources, pulls on our heartstrings and forces us to persevere and to rise to challenges. Sport concentrates our energies and helps us work with each other.
Whether it’s an elderly couple on a putting green or a toddler taking his first kick at a soccer ball, sport is lifelong.
To all of you, I wish a Happy New Year.
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