Teaching Life Lessons Through Sports

By Travis Tilton, co-founder, Hawaii Sports Academy

Hawaii Sports Academy is a nonprofit organization that supports, encourages and enables youths to participate in sports in a safe and structured environment. Through our programs, we teach sportsmanship, fundamentals, teamwork, skills and knowledge, along with lessons on how to cope with the challenges that youths face on a daily basis. HSA was created by Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala and myself.

Travis Tilton

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Travis Tilton

We were inspired to start HSA after seeing firsthand how a life of crime and drugs can destroy the dreams of young people. We had many childhood friends who would have grown up to accomplish great things if they only had people in their lives to lead them down the right path. We feel that through sports, we can try to change some of this negative behavior for kids today. We believe that sports can serve as a vehicle to teach kids valuable life lessons, including perseverance, ethics, responsibility and respect.

Launched just two months ago, HSA already has worked with about 500 youths, and we are hoping to expand our programs. HSA includes a flag football league as well as sports clinics in baseball, basketball, football and soccer. We also offer SAT prep and tutoring. We also aim to provide early intervention and prevention services through mentoring and peer education.

Through HSA, Chris and I hope that we can help to make sports – and all the lessons that youths learn along the way – accessible to all. With the help of sponsors and grants, HSA aims to deliver sports programs to the ones who need it most. Many of our participants are not able to afford to participate in other programs. By keeping our entry fees low and by offering financial aid, we are able to reach out to these players. HSA challenges youths to think healthy, live healthy and dream.

HSA now is accepting registration for the summer season. To register or for more information, email hawaiisportsacademy@gmail.com or call 312-2102.