The University of Hawai'i beach volleyball team recently received a $3,000 grant from the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. The grant will be used to assist with travel costs, particularly those related to post-season travel. Prior to receiving the grant, the beach volleyball team relied on fundraising events along with the UH athletic budget in order to cover their expenses.
The team received the grant due to their service of the Hawai'i's waterman community, a foundation that helps to develop some of Hawai'i's best athletes while sharing Duke’s story with the newer generation.
"The Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation honors the legacy of Hawai'i's greatest waterman and ambassador of aloha, Duke Kahanamoku, by continuing to support Hawai'i's keiki through scholarships and grants that allow for a transformational impact in the growing lives of Hawai'i's youth," foundation representative Billy Pratt said.
Duke Kahanamoku was popular for his accolades in water sports, but many people in the public have no idea that he had a part in the development of beach volleyball.
Beach volleyball was founded on the islands in 1914 by George David "Dad" Center.
"Their travels together to California had a big hand in the growth of the game on the West Coast," UH assistant coach Evan Silberstein said. "It's Duke's spirit of ambassadorship that drives our program forward every day in practice and on every trip we take."
The SandBows will host their season opener in honor of Duke Kahanamoku in the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic on February 23 and 24. Joining UH in the tournament are Stanford, Saint Mary's, Pepperdine and defending national champion UCLA.