MTM Transit Sponsors King Kamehameha Awesome Athletes Inclusive Canoe Race

MTM Transit was proud to recently sponsor and take part in the 3rd Annual King Kamehameha Awesome Athletes Inclusive Canoe Race in beautiful Hilo, Hawaii. Hosted by The Arc of Hilo, OSMD Hawaii (Operation Sammy Muscular Dystrophy), and inclusive canoe club ‘Ohana Wa’a Laulima, the race epitomizes a shared vision of fostering a safe and welcoming environment where individuals with disabilities can engage in the culturally rich sport of canoe paddling.

The genesis of this inspiring event dates back to 2022, with the mission of offering individuals with disabilities, fondly known by the organizers as Awesome Athletes, an opportunity to paddle in a supportive and inclusive team setting. The inaugural race saw nearly 75 athletes take to the waters of Hilo Bay. The event has since grown significantly, with nearly 100 athletes participating in 2023, and this year’s event witnessing an impressive 110 athletes.

The choice of Hilo Bay as the venue is deeply symbolic. The bay is famously associated with King Kamehameha’s historic launch of a fleet of war canoes to conquer Maui and unify the Hawaiian Islands. Holding the inclusive race during the weekend honoring King Kamehameha not only celebrates this rich cultural heritage but also creates a unique opportunity for the Awesome Athletes and the broader community to engage with Hawaiian traditions in a meaningful way.

In the Hilo community, MTM Transit operates the local Hele-On Kako’o paratransit services program, inclusive of paratransit eligibility assessments, travel training, and actual paratransit service provision. MTM Transit contributed as a Silver Sponsor for this year’s event. Our local Program Manager Micheal Bragg was on hand to distribute goodies and engage attendees with trivia questions as part of the event’s scavenger hunt. The enthusiasm and commitment of MTM Transit staff were evident as Travel Trainer Jasmine Powell also competed alongside her team from the Kamehameha Canoe Club.

The growing success of the King Kamehameha Awesome Athletes Inclusive Canoe Race underscores the potential for further projects aimed at providing equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in culturally and historically significant activities. MTM Transit is honored to support this mission and looks forward to contributing to the continued growth and inclusivity of sporting events in Hawaii and beyond!

Shopping Basket