Jeff Apaka, Director of Community Relations
Waikiki Community Center (WCC) celebrates 32 years of service in March 2010, and the Ala Wai Challenge will serve as the official kick-off.
The WCC provides a variety of services to the people of Waikiki, including an Early Childhood Education Center; physical, social, and educational activities as well as counseling and case management of older adults; a food pantry for the homeless, and a variety of other needed services. The mission of the center is to enrich and improve the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the diverse people of Waikiki through multi-generational on-site and outreach programs and social services. Together, with its on-site partner agencies, the center serves approximately 15,000 people each year.
Since 1978, the center has been meeting the diverse needs of Waikiki’s children, seniors and families. Other events planned for 2010 are a signature gala event honoring the WCC and the Treasures of Waikiki on August 21.
For the 25th year, the Waikiki Community Center will host its Annual Ala Wai Challenge on Sunday, January 24 at the Ala Wai Neighborhood Park and Clubhouse. The Ala Wai Challenge is a fun-filled community event for Hawaii residents and visitors featuring outrigger canoe racing and ancient Hawaiian Makahiki games. This cultural event showcases how the Hawaiian people competed in these unique sport games that can only be found in Hawaii.
Each year the event honors two living water sports legends of Hawaii. Both are legendary canoe paddlers, and have perpetuated the legacy of native Hawaiian canoe racing in the community. The honorees are Hannie Anderson and Tay Perry. Hannie is one of the founders and race director of Na Wahine O Ke Kai, race commissioner Hawaiian Canoe Racing Assoc., and past president of OCHRA. Tay is a master builder and restorer of koa canoes, paddled 44 Moloka’i Hoe races, V.P. of Friends of Hokule’a and Hawai’iloa and author of Paddling Hoena, a book on Hawaiian Proverbs and Inspirational Quotes celebrating Hawaii's Favorite Pastime - Mutual Publishing.
The Ala Wai Challenge is sponsored by Hawaiian Electric Company and features a variety of handmade Hawaiian crafts, entertainment, food vendors, and fun activities to learn how to create a ‘green' and sustainable community. Participants can also make their own smoothies by peddling a bicycle-powered blender, courtesy of the Sustainable Saunders Initiative at UH Manoa. You can also experience authentic “Lomi Lomi” (Hawaiian massage) and “La’au Lapa’au” (Hawaiian medical herbs). Admission to the event is free.
The outrigger canoe race is a ¼ mile sprint up the Ala Wai Canal and is open to all skill levels. The race is a double elimination, having winners and consolation brackets so all teams race twice.
The Hawaiian games feature the ‘Ulu Maika (bowling a round stone through pegs), O’o Ihe (spear throwing), Moa Pahe’e (dart sliding), Pohaku Ho’oikaika (stone throw) and Huki Kaula (tug of war). This is one of the few events on Oahu where you can experience the ancient sports of Hawaiian culture known as Makahiki.
The event kicks off at 8am with a double-hulled canoe procession with oli’ (chant) and Kahiko (ancient hula and song) by Hula Halau Ka Liko O Ka Palai and Kumu Hula Ainsley Halemanu.
Parking will be located in the surrounding neighborhood. From Waikiki, a free double-hull “Canoe Taxi Service” ferries visitors across at the corner of Ala Wai Blvd. and Olohana Street.
For more information about the Ala Wai Challenge or the Waikiki Community Center, please call 923-1802 or visit their website at www.waikikicommunitycenter.org.
I'll Remember You
Na Wahine O Ke Kai
Piecing history together
Hawaiki Nui Va’a 2009
The Length of the Lake
Tahiti is in it's own league
Ala Wai Challenge
Going 137 miles
Need an edge?