From December 14-23, Shawnigan's Senior Girls Basketball Team toured Honolulu, competing against strong local teams as a tune-up for the season while enjoying the local scenery, climate, and culture.
The following is a firsthand account of the tour, submitted by Tatum H. (Gr. 12) and Milena J. (Gr 11).
We began the trip with an exciting adventure to the Hanauma Bay State Park Nature Reserve. We spent the day snorkelling, exploring, and enjoying the beach. We saw many tropical fish, a coral reef, and other beautiful wildlife. This was a lovely experience for all of the girls and everyone thoroughly enjoyed this outdoors adventure.
On the second day, our team took part in a self-guided hike in the Diamond Head State Park. Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone in Oʻahu. The girls and our coaches trekked the diamond head trail and took advantage of this time to come together as a team as well as appreciate the breathtaking view of the island. Reaching the top of the hike we witnessed the raw natural beauty of this amazing island. This was a day all of us will remember.
Following this, we took part in another adventure. This was the day of the catamaran cruise. We came aboard a small sailboat captained by two friendly sailors who gave us a memorable day out on the water. Our team was able to relax and just enjoy each other's company and the ocean. After we docked we spent the day at the beach, where the girls were happily surprised to be visited by a sea turtle – a perfect end to a delightful day.
On our 4th day we had an early start heading to sunset beach where we had a few hours to watch skilled local surfers in action. After this we made our way to the Polynesian Cultural Center. This was a remarkable evening where we not only got to learn about the different Polynesian islands but truly be immersed in their culture. We saw shows designated to each island and then were able to participate in activities that were native to each island that was represented. This was an amazing opportunity to learn and expand our perspective on a culture we previously knew not much about. We left feeling full of a new culture.
Our fifth day began with an early start, heading straight to the Arizona Memorial. This included a walk around the grounds, a film, and driving out on the water to actually see the memorial. This educational visit was eye-opening for the entire team. We all got an inside look into the whole history around the memorial and what it represents. After the memorial we went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, a collection of venders surrounding a stadium. Here was a great chance for the girls to bring back some souvenirs with which to remember the trip.
After participating in our numerous activities and sightseeing, for the last three days of our trip we played three local Hawaiian teams. Our first game was against the tournament's host school, Maryknoll. Their team was very strong and definitely pushed us more than we had been used to, though our entire team gained a lot of experience throughout.
Learning from the outcome of our first game and becoming accustomed to the new level of play, we felt much more prepared going into our second, managing to pull out a win against Island Pacific Academy.
Our third and final game mimicked the same play we had faced in our first game. Our opposition, Punahou, pushed us hard on both offence and defence. Although the outcome wasn’t exactly as we hoped, each player had a lot to take away from it.
The different level of play that the team faced throughout the entire tournament forced the girls to adapt and come together as a unit. This tour not only presented an opportunity for the team to further our bond, but also gave us a lot to learn through each training session and game. I can say for certain that every player on the team has been able to take away so much from this tour that we can hopefully incorporate into our play at home.