"Run! Catch it," one boy yells to a teammate as they sprint across Alexander Field, determined to score during a spirited game of Ultimate Frisbee. "Got it!" the second boys yells, leaping to snatch a soaring pass into the end zone.
There's little time for celebration, though, as the opposing teams quickly get set for the next play, reveling in the all-out vitality that defines Punahou's Summer Sports.
A popular summer offering for several decades, the course for boys and girls from grades 4 - 8 provides expert skill instruction, instills a knowledge and appreciation of sports, and promotes social development and physical fitness. Students play a variety of sports, utilizing the School's extensive physical education and athletic facilities. The staff includes Punahou teachers and coaches, as well as talented instructors from across Hawai'i.
"This is a course that keeps kids active and healthy and also exposes them to new sports that they might not try otherwise," explained Summer Sports Coordinator Alan Ching '88, who participated in the program as a youngster, later was a teaching assistant and coach, and has been coordinator for the past three years.
The program adjusts its offerings each year, and this summer features lacrosse, handball, Hawaiian games, Ultimate Frisbee, floor hockey, swimming, water polo, racquetball and wallyball (also known as rebound volleyball). There's also a fitness component, designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.
Classes are grouped by grade levels and gender, and there are morning and afternoon sessions. Each daily session lasts three-and-half hours, giving students enough time over the course of the five-week summer session to build skills and confidence in a variety of sports.
Clad in their distinctive Buff 'n Blue Summer Sports shirts, the young athletes are easy to spot around campus, playing everywhere from the PE Pavilion, to Rice and Alexander fields, to Hemmeter Fieldhouse and Waterhouse Pool.
"It's so much fun because you get to play so many different sports," said Caden '20. "You have all these great teachers around so you pick it up really fast."
"Every day is different. The time flies by," added Aiden, who attends Le Jardin Academy during the regular school year. "It's fun and I feel like I am learning a lot."
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