KAPA‘A — Katie Parkinson and her group of volunteers have a goal in mind, Wednesday while watching youthful skaters create excitement on the surface of the inline skating rink in Kapa‘a.
“We would like to see enough young people between the ages of 9 to 13 years old turn out so we can form a Junior team,” Parkinson said after getting the last of the youth skaters turned out onto the rink. “This is the biggest turnout we’ve gotten since the youth started dropping in on Wednesdays ahead of the adult inline hockey matches. Soccer just ended so that helps.”
Parkinson said since skating became popular because of social media, there are a lot of youngsters wanting to get onto the rink.
“I asked a mother if she would let her son play, and she said, ‘Sure, he just runs around the garage with my Swiffer.’” Parkinson said. “We have the adults participating in the adult games helping the little ones. Some of these young skaters stick around to watch the adults play when they take over.”
During the gatherings that started in April, the skaters go through skills development, safety, and a scrimmage. Skills development includes an exercise similar to the Beach Flags event for the Junior Lifeguard program where skaters are prone on the rink, and at a signal, need to react, get control, and take possession of a puck.
“This all started during a work day,” Parkinson said. “We found this container filled with old equipment from the former days of hockey. We cleaned up everything, and said, ‘we can put this to use.’”
“Right now, we have all the gear and extra skates, and it’s free,” Parkinson said. “Boys and girls and all skill levels are welcome, and for those who are eight years old and possess some skills, we’ll consider them, too. We just want people to know that they are welcome to check out the program on Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., ahead of the start of the adult pick up games.”
Adults with skating experience who want to volunteer and help the youth are also welcome to join the action at the Kapa‘a inline hockey rink situated next to the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Park.
Source: The Garden Island