Waialua Honored For Gender Equity Effort

Carol Chang
Wednesday - September 05, 2007
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As the prep sports season kicks into high gear,Waialua High School is already in the winner’s ranks.

The North Shore school was honored along with four others recently for its achievement in gender equity.

On July 26 the state DOE marked the 35th anniversary of the Title IX Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act by presenting plaques to Waialua, Farrington, Ka’u, Molokai and Waimea high schools for “outstanding efforts in achieving compliance and equity in their athletics programs.”

“It was pretty difficult to reach (equal participation) because of the football numbers,“admitted Waialua athletic director Sharon Yoshimura, noting that there was one girl on the varsity football team who made a contribution.“We looked at our total number of students, not just athletes playing, and we just encouraged everyone to participate.

“This year we added three more girls sports: JV and varsity softball, and girls volleyball.”

The effort also meant finding the money to pay more coaches, which was a combination of state funds and donations. “We fund-raise all the time,” Yoshimura said.

Speakers at the ceremony included Gov. Linda Lingle, UH associate athletics director Marilyn MonizKahoohanohano, DOE superintendent Patricia Hamamoto and DOE Gender Equity Advisory Committee chairman Mike Victorino. But the most telling remarks came from students like Sarah Nicolaisen of Ka’u High:

“I will be attending UH-Manoa in the fall on an athletic scholarship for track and field,” she told the crowd. “If it wasn’t for sports, I’m not even sure I would be going to college. Has Title IX benefited me? Yes, it has!”

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