Sports camps produce revenue and fun
At the University of Hawaiʻi, sports camps are serious business. Fees range from $100 to $515 for the three– to six–day youth camps, and some draw well over 100 participants per session, generating funds for Warrior, Rainbow Wahine and Vulcan programs.
Wahine Soccer holds winter, summer and goalkeepers camps. "We average about 100 kids, and we think that everyone has a good time all around," says Assistant Coach Derick Kato. On a typical day, campers work on four topics and play a mini’scrimmage. Camp usually concludes with a World Cup, with campers allowed to pick their country’s team name.
"The kids have so much fun with it. They really get into it and get excited. Sometimes they even start their own chants. We really enjoy it too," Kato says. The program also runs a free spring camp in conjunction with HMSA for youth of Hālawa Housing and Kuhio Park Terrace.
"We have an obligation to the community. We represent the highest level of sport in the state without the presence of any professional teams," Kato adds. "The camps give kids a chance to meet the Wahine and form relationships with our players. It helps them realize that someday they could be playing college soccer as well."
Former Wahine campers turned Duke goalkeeper Allison Lipsher, Gonzaga freshman Dayna Omiya and Hawaiɗi striker Tobi Kanehira have joined the instructors’ sorority.Giving back in Hilo
Joey Estrella entered his 30th season as Vulcan head baseball coach in February and, just as significantly to him, his third decade of providing camps for Big Island youth. "Part of my responsibility as a college coach is to repay the community that helped give me the opportunities I’ve had," the former Rainbow shortstop says.
In addition to an annual summer camp, his program offers free clinics throughout the year in conjunction with county parks programs at locations such as Ka’ū, Pāhoa, Honoka’a, Waiākea Uka and Keaukaha.
"The free camps offer us an opportunity to go to places where kids would not otherwise have a chance to learn about baseball," Estrella says. "Sometimes there are kids without any baseball gear, no gloves, but they all have a great time." The Vulcans also host the annual Kalae Iki Clinic in Kailua’Kona, with free instruction by current and former college coaches from across the country.Mānoa campers hoop it up
Riley Wallace’s Rainbow Basketball Camps are always popular. Hundreds of young hoopsters are coached by Rainbow Warrior staff and other distinguished clinicians in two summer sessions.
"We really appreciate the camp," says parent and former Chaminade basketball player Mike Robertson. "Our daughter attends every year, and they’ve really taught her a lot, not only about technique and drills, but also the philosophy of the game."
The biggest perk is a lot simpler to the campers. "They teach us a lot of stuff, like dribbling and shooting and playing defense," says 10-year-old camp veteran Kiki Robertson. "But my favorite part is shooting around with the Rainbow players. My favorite is Julian (Sensley). They’re always real nice, they always talk to us and ask us how we’re doing and stuff and it’s always fun."
Tentative camp schedule
(dates and fees subject to change)
- Rainbow Basketball: June 9–11 or June 12–14, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., ages 5-17, $150 (includes basketball and camp t-shirt); 808 956-6501
- Rainbow Wahine Soccer: Early and late summer, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., ages 5–13, $150 (includes soccer ball and camp t-shirt); 808 956-6330
- Wahine Volleyball: June 19–22, two sessions TBA in July, grades 4–12, $150; Aug. 1–4, residency camp for grades 8–12, $400; 808 956-2496
- Wahine Basketball: Mid June skill camp, ages 5–12; Late June elite camp, girls age 13–18, $135; 808 956-6518
- Mānoa Men’s Tennis: June 18–23 or June 25–30, $415 day camp, $515 extended day camp, $715 resident camp; 808 956-4512
- Vulcan Basketball: June 21–24, boys and girls, $110; 808 933-0576
- Vulcan Baseball: June camp, 3 hours per day, ages 5–12, $100 (includes camp hat, t-shirt and evaluation); July Kalae Iki Clinic in Kailua-Kona, ages 7–17, free; 808 974-7700
- Wahine Softball Camps: Late June, 3-day beginners/instructional camp and 2-hour skills camps in fielding, hitting and pitching, ages 8–12, cost TBD; 808 956-9227
- Warrior Volleyball Camps: July 24–28, 1:30–4:30 p.m., youths, cost TBD; July 24–28, 6–9 p.m., ages 18 and over, cost TBD; 808 956-4623