President's Report - May 2023
Nolan Ahn, PAK President
I am an old four-wheeler. I have spent a significant amount of time off-road in rocks, mud, and sand. I learned early that it didn’t matter how much power your engine had if your wheels didn’t move your vehicle forward (or backward). Once you got off the pavement, the goal was to keep moving until you got back on. My hot rod friends were investing in more power. I was on a quest for traction. They sought horsepower, I sought gear ratios. They went aerodynamic, I went for wheel clearance. They went for small front tires and racing slicks, I went for huge knobby tires all around. My early ride was an ancient Toyota Land Cruiser. It had a very stiff suspension, so the highway ride was horrible. The off-road tires screamed on the pavement. It took a long time to get to 50 mph, and a lot of gasoline to get there. But it was beautiful in the sand and the mud. If it got stuck, there was a winch to pull it out. I was sad when I sold it to buy something more “practical”.
So, what does that have to do with PAK? I look back at our brief history and see that we have been building our organization for traction, not speed. Since we started our membership drive in December of 2021, we measured our progress in inches, objective by objective. At the very beginning, our board set up our overall mission and guideposts for our progress. Here are our objectives:
We have successfully organized ourselves as a non-profit organization. We continue to communicate our mission with our website. We have achieved representation and credibility as evidenced by our 310 paid members. We have pursued an exhaustive list of potential sites for our “alpha” courts through our on-going identification phase. We are getting close.
Here is our mission statement. Pickleball Association Kauai will develop, operate, and maintain quality dedicated pickleball venues with the spirit of Aloha. We are all about having places to play. For many of us, we add a tag line, “in our lifetimes”.
This month, the County of Kauai is hosting a Blessing and Opening of the first public pickleball courts on Kauai. PAK will be present on behalf of its members and participate in providing refreshments. We support and encourage all County and State efforts in providing needed facilities for the pickleball community and will express our gratitude to Mayor Kawakami and the Parks and Recreation Department for their efforts. Please try to attend, and show your appreciation for these courts, and to convey the need for more courts throughout our island. These courts are proof that our efforts are gaining traction. Three years ago, an ad hoc committee of picklers approached the County with the germ of an idea about pickleball courts, and here is our first of what we hope will be many.
So, more about traction. When I retired 9 years ago, I treated myself to a new Ford Raptor truck. For those that know or care, the Raptor is the crème de la crème of off-road trucks. It combines the elements of power with traction into one mean machine. The ride is luxurious, the power is undeniable, and the ability off-road is impressive. It only cost ten times what my Land Cruiser did. And it still had terrible gas mileage. When I compare the Raptor to my old Land Cruiser, maybe we can have traction and speed in one package, for trucks and for non-profit organizations. Varoom!
Rumi Masumura and her tournament committee have been furiously working on the 2023 PAK Open August 18-20. Last year, our tournament was held at Kalawai Park, and, because of the four-court limitation we were able to accommodate about a hundred players. With the anticipated completion of facility upgrades at Kauai Community College, we are looking forward to hosting twice as many players on six dedicated and four temporary pickleball courts. Be looking for our tournament announcement and registration June 1 on our website.
Until next month,