NEWS AND EVENTS
Stay in the Know
KEKAHA FAMILY FUN DAY, a Play Streets Event
Kekaha Family Fun Day, a Play Streets Event, was held on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022. E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha invited the Kauai community, residents and visitors alike, to a day of fun which included opportunities to try physical activities that many may not normally do or participate in. (Per the Garden Island, dated July 16, 2022, “Play Streets refers to the temporary closure of streets for a short time to create a safe, publicly accessible space for children and their families to engage in active play.”)
Play Streets activities included: pickleball, skateboarding, ninja obstacle course, fishing clinic with throw-net, basketball, and free play with bubbles, chalk, hula hoops, jumping rope, etc. Among others, there were food booths, children rides, music, and more.
Pickleball Association Kauai (PAK) was invited to introduce and share pickleball at this event. We were blessed to have the many volunteers who assisted with, and all the loaner equipment that were made available to, the hundreds of participants who stopped by. Both children and parents alike got to try out and enjoy pickleball that day. We saw a lot of excitement in the children and adults who passed through. Volunteers got pumped up with the challenge of encouraging children and interested adults, and showing them how to properly hold the pickleball paddles and to hit the pickleballs. At the end of the day, our volunteers were elated to declare that our pickleball event was successful. We were tired, but thrilled, that the community’s exposure to pickleball, had exceeded our expectations.
Mahalo to our volunteers, in no particular order: Jack Hodges, Stephanie Sunn, Nolan Ahn, Laurie Yoshida, Carol Surratt, Darrel Jaggers, Bruce Malley, Marcia Buenafe, Edrien Vaatete, Rachel Chadwick, Judy Honda, Judy Miyashiro, Patrick Kaneshiro, Julie Alvarez, Rosemary Smythe, and Lucia Bartels. Also, mahalo to the following people/groups who shared their pickleball equipment: Brant Fuchigami, Lanice Pullano, Edrien Vaatete, Kauai Christian Fellowship, and Hanapepe/Kekaha Pickleball.
Thank you County of Kauai!
We are moving in the right direction! The first dedicated public pickleball courts are coming to Koloa. PAK is grateful for the work of all the County employees and elected officials who made this break-through facility possible. We appreciate the opportunity they gave us to provide design input into these courts. We are hopeful that this will be the genesis of many more venues throughout Kauai.
Waimea Senior Pickleball Tournament
Judy Honda, Melanie Okamoto, Sandy Lew, Loutoa Zoller
Bob Day, Len Tyler, Jimmy Honda
Gary McGuire, Craig Watanabe, Phil Baclayon, Keleo Perez
Pete Lavorato, Ramona Franco, Stephanie Sunn, Jack Hodges, Nolan Ahn
Nolan Ahn with Carol Mackey (missing from Mixed Doubles Photo)
Tournament Play and Spectators
Students and Faculty mentors
Waimea Town’s first senior pickleball tournament held Saturday, April 2, 2022 flirted with rain (outdoors at the Waimea High School tennis courts) and was finally moved indoors to the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. It was a huge success.
The one day tournament was comprised of three divisions: Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles and two senior brackets (60-69 and 70+) for each division.
The day’s medal winners were:
Women’s Doubles 60-69: Gold - Sande Lew/Loutoa Zoller; Silver - Judy Honda/Melanie Okamoto.
Men’s Doubles 60-69: Gold - Phil Baclayon/Kaleo Perez; Silver - Craig Watanabe/Gary McGuire. Men’s 70+: Gold - Bob Day/Len Tyler
Mixed Doubles 60-69: Gold - Ramona Franco/Pete Lavorato; Mixed 70+: Gold - Stephanie Sunn/Jack Hodges; Silver - Carol Mackey/Nolan Ahn
The tournament was comprised of local players from Kekaha, Waimea, Kaumakani, Hanapepe, Eleele, Kalaheo, Lawai, Lihue, Kilauea and Princeville.
Players and spectators would like to thank the Waimea High School Computer Club and faculty mentors Joyce Evens and Ryan Kakuda for putting together this tournament. The computer group received a grant from GEER (Governors Emergency Education Relief) Funds. The funds nationwide went to educational organizations who then chose to give back to people within their communities directly affected by COVID-19. The computer club chose Kaua’i’s senior citizens. Pickleball has injected (pun indirectly intended) camaraderie, exercise, laughing, competition and newfound health into the daily lives of our senior citizens.
We are thrilled to report that four Kauai picklers have won their brackets at the April 2022 Mountain Diamond Tournament. With a field of 767 players, the Mixed Doubles teams of Rumi Masumura/Brant Fuchigami and Kimi Masumura/Talon Abat won Gold in their respective divisions. Masumura/Fuchigami dominated their first three matches, then lost to the other finalist team. Advancing from the losers’ bracket, they again met them in the finals, where they won a tough match 11-9, 6-11, and 12-10. A playoff match with the previously undefeated team was played to decide the winners, with our homies winning a squeaker 15-12 for the GOLD! Our Mixed Doubles team of Masumura/Abat went undefeated over four matches to clinch the GOLD in their 3.5:19+ bracket.
Fuchigami and Abat teamed up the next day for Men’s Doubles, but were eliminated without medaling. The sisters Rumi and Kimi Masumura teamed up for Women’s Doubles and clinched the SILVER against the undefeated winning team.
We are truly making a mark in Tournament Pickleball on Kauai! Congratulations to our local champions! Of course, we have to brag a little about Rumi, who serves as a Director of PAK, and is chairing our first PAK 2022 Open Tournament in May. It will be a great one!
2022 Valentines Pickleball Scramble at Hanapepe Tennis Courts
Aloha PAK Readers. Our Hanapepe pickleball ohana enjoyed a “FUN” 2022 Pickleball Valentine Scramble on 2/11/22, Friday. The Kauai Ho’ohui ‘o Recreation (A Proud Sponsor of Pickleball) and the County of Kaua’i Department of Parks and Recreation held this event for our players at the Hanapepe Tennis Courts. Melanie Okamoto, with the assistance of other Kauai county staff members Chad Koga and James Kealalio, planned this smooth running tournament. Sisters Kimi and Rumi Masumura and our Hanapepe ohana volunteers helped as needed. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. A slight cloud cover kept the sun from making the day too hot, and a nice breeze broke up any humidity. There were door prizes for everyone, 1st place medals with $50 Kalaheo Gift Certificates (donated by Eddie Beetschen) for four individual winners, and an onolicious bento for all participants. Incredibly, this Valentine Scramble was free to our Hanapepe pickleball players. The hope is that our players, having gotten their feet wet at this fun tournament, will be encouraged to enter future pickleball tournaments. The 1st Place “Mea Lanakila” (Winners) were: Terry Heflin, Ed Geall, Marsha Russo, and Lucia Bartels.
Kauai Pickleball Players Medal in Maui
Congratulations to our Kauai pickleball players that medaled at the Maui Pukaball Tournament held at the Wailea Tennis Club January 7-9!!
> 3.0 65+ Mens Singles | Philip Baclayon
> 3.5 All Ages Womens Singles | Stefanie Cannon
> 3.5 50-59 Womens Doubles | Loutoa Zoller and Trina Denson
> 3.5 50-64 Mens Singles | Jules Cannon
> 3.5 35-49 Mixed Doubles | Loutoa Zoller and Vivek Nautiyal
> 3.5 50-59 Mixed Doubles | Philip Baclayon and Trina Denson
OUR OWN JULIET PETERS WINS NATIONALS GOLD
Representing Kilauea Pickleball, our PAK Board member Juliet Peters and her sister Suzanne Deardorff have won gold medals at the 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. The tournament was the largest ever pickleball tournament with 2,233 registered players who paid a $140 registration fee plus event fees and qualified throughout the year. It was held at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, California. There are 48 dedicated pickleball courts at the facility. The tournament was run by Pickleball Tournaments, whose state of the art systems allow for near-live results of all matches and can turn the courts in 30 seconds after a match. The tournament was held from December 6-14, 2021.
Playing in the Women’s Doubles 3.5:55+ Bracket, the sisters handily won their first three matches in two games. Their fourth match required a comeback from a first game loss, but they prevailed 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, advancing from the winners bracket to the gold medal match. Playing the team of Deanna Meredith and Lorraine Dolan from the loser’s bracket, they lost the match 9-11, 7-11 forcing a one game to 15 playoff. In a thrilling, hard fought game, they prevailed 15-13 and were awarded the gold medals.
Later in the tournament, Juliet paired with Rumi Masumura in the Women’s Doubles 3.5:35+ bracket. They did well, and finished just outside of the medals, losing to the eventual silver and gold medalists in double elimination. Suzanne paired with Kimi Masumura in the Women’s Doubles 3.5:19+ and also finished just outside of the medals, losing to the eventual bronze and gold winners.
We are so proud of our fine athletes, and we look forward to more PAK members bringing in the hardware from tournaments.