Solving The Riddle Of The Ridge
Wednesday - July 11, 2007
(from left) Cortney, Na‘ia, Pat, Ka‘ili, Kai, Kaiko‘o, Dar and
I received a number of letters and e-mails about my recent column on hiking to the Lanikai pill-boxes. I’m glad all of you had such a great time when you personally checked it out.
The outpouring of appreciation made me wonder just who was behind cleaning up the trail and painting over the graffiti at the pillboxes on Ka Iwi Ridge. I’m glad to report that the riddle of the ridge has been solved.
The good-deed-doers are members of the Windward Soccer Club, a club soccer program that plays in the Hawaii Youth Soccer Association.
“We’re concerned about community awareness,” says Windward Soccer Club president Pat Singlehurst. “Winning is important to us, but we’re trying to instill life values, as well as teaching good soccer.”
That meant the youngsters from Kailua, Kaneohe and Waimanalo spent several hours cleaning up community bus stops and labeling area storm drains last year. This year, they took on the bigger project of sprucing up the popular hiking trail to the historic Lanikai pill-boxes.
“We painted (over all the graffiti in and on) the pillboxes,” Singlehurst says. “We also cleaned up some spots along the trail and put up some ropes (on the steeper portions.)”
Eventually, the club hopes to place plaques in the pillboxes to showcase both their hard work and the area’s World War II-era significance.
“The kids did a lot of research and learned quite a bit of history about the pillboxes,” Singlehurst says. “Eventually, after the signage gets approved, we’ll include all of that information on the plaques.”
The Windward Soccer Club was pleased to get some financial and logistical help from Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Mid-Pacific Country Club, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Marine Corps Base Hawaii to help them with their clean-up efforts. But now, they’re in the final stages of another even bigger fundraising effort.
“Our 10-and-under team is headed to the Surf Cup in San Diego the last weekend in July (July 28-29),” Singlehurst says. The team has staged a giant garage sale plus a big community steak and shrimp dinner to help defray costs. Their goal is to raise approximately $20,000
for their big trip to the Mainland later this month.
The team of 13 boys and three girls were known as the “Volcanos” during the HYSA season. They’ll be known as Hawaii’s entry in the prestigious national tournament after winning the state cup this past spring.
Windward is one of a number of HYSA soccer clubs that have become popular in recent years. Other Oahu soccer clubs - featuring some of the top youth soccer players on the island - include the Honolulu Bulls, Honolulu Rush, Ka’oi, Leahi, Riggers and Powder
Edge. Ka’oi is also sending several girls teams to the Surf Cup competition.
“Our league has teams from U7 to U14,” Singlehurst says. That means youngsters play from before the age of 7 years old up to the age of 14.
The 39-year-old Singlehurst, who played and coached at Kalaheo High School, has coached four of his six children at some time during their youth soccer journey. He and his wife Dar (she’s a former Kailua High player and coach), have six children; three girls and three boys - Cortney, 17, Honu, 15, Kai, 13, and 10-year-old Nai’a, who will be making the trip this month with the Volcanos, plus 7-year-old Ka’ili and 8-month-old Kaiko’o.
Singlehurst’s entire family has turned soccer into a way of life. The Windward Soccer Club has translated that way of life into a positive force for the entire community. The hikers on Ka Iwi Ridge above Lanikai show their appreciation every day.
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