Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club is nonprofit organization dedicated to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and fighting the youth obesity epidemic by encouraging youths to learn and live a lifestyle of health and wellness. This youth only Hawaiian cultural immersion program is run by all adult volunteers and was founded on November 11, 2011 in San Diego California. Its mission is to develop an appreciation of cultural heritage by educating their youth about the Hawaiian and Pacific Islander culture through language, hand crafts, chants, prayers, and ancient History of Hawai'i in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment.
Parking and admission is free and open to the public. The festival will start with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. After the opening ceremony is the first 4.25-mile long stand up paddle race for all ages known as the Stand Up For The Kids SUP fundraiser. Then the third annual Keiki Heihe Waʻa (youth canoe regatta) begins with a 3-mile long Hawaiian outrigger canoe race. Youth’s then race their canoes on a straight 500 yard course with six lanes marked by buoy flags with race turns in front of Crown Point Shores. This is a very spectator friendly event and great fun for the entire family. Teams from as far away as Hawaii come to compete at this event.
Photo: © Georg & Judy Photography
Youth outrigger canoe racers from the Hawaiian Nā ʻŌpio Racing Association, The Southern California Outrigger Racing Association, and the United State Canoe Association will be competing in the traditional Hawaiian way in their six-person Hawaiian outrigger canoes, hula dancers, drummers, and ukulele players will be performing in the park entertaining guests. Health Wellness information booths, Stand Up Paddle Vendors with demo equipment, and Outrigger paddling vendors will also have booths at this festival.
Gus Cervantes, the president and cofounder of Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club believes that teaching children at a young age the habits of a healthy diet and regular exercise will continue through their adulthood and begin to turn the tide on the obesity epidemic that has inflicted modern society.
For updated information on this event call Gus Cervantes at (858) 449-2078 or visit www.sandiegoshakafest.com