Na Leo O Ke Kai Keiki Program
Now in its 8th year, the team’s keiki and junior’s outrigger program is headed by Coach Christel Savoy. We offer both 14 and under and juniors paddling on Sunday mornings. During summer time, this means 7 a.m. to beat the heat. If you have any questions: check out our Na Leo O Kei Kai Keiki Facebook page.
The keiki team was a long-standing dream of Founders Lono and Louise Navarro and has grown steadily in numbers and accomplishments. The team was launched in 2011 by former Na Leo President Andrew Harbottle, Malcolm Valera and present team practice coach Diane Escalante. With their leadership (as well as the parents) and that of former Coach Mendes and present Coach Christel Savoy, a new generation has taken to the water with pride and strong sense of Ohana.
These young leaders have started a tradition of success in Arizona and California. We are so proud of our keiki and junior outrigger paddlers’ accomplishments and hope you and your family can come and join in the fun!
A special thank you to Andrew Harbottle, who every year continues to sponsor our keiki. In 2016, our dear friend purchased a set of new paddles for our keiki!
Summer Youth Programs
Na Leo O Ke Kai has hosted a number of experiences for children and adults over the years, including a summer youth development program for Back to Life, a nonprofit residential program for Navajo youth.
Initiated by then Assistant Coach Anne Cook in June 2011, more than 30 children, ages 11-18, met three times a week and learned canoeing, team work and healthy lifestyle skills for several years.
We were very proud to host the first Na Leo-BTL keiki mini-regatta, with hula, competition racing and a medal ceremony. What our BTL youth racers had to say:
“You guys, ladies made it very fun, exciting, energetic and amazing. Love you and thank you very much!!!
“Thank you for making me feel like a family and for teaching me team work and helping others.”
My favorite things were:
“When I got in the boat and learned about the traditions of the Hawaiian culture.”
“Practicing on powering up and doing our strokes and our timing”