Coach Paul Lu’uwai helps Seabury’s padding team find success

Morgan Garcia-Stout, Staff Writer

Ancient Hawaiians used large canoes with sails to travel. Many people today are trying to keep the traditions of the old Hawaiians alive. One of the people is Paul Lu’uwai, the coach of both Seabury Hall’s paddling team and the Hawaiian Canoe Club.

Originally born on Canton Island, Paul Lu’uwai grew up in Kula of upcountry Maui. He grew up on the side of the mountain Haleakala. He attended Saint Anthony for elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Later he attended the college at both the University of Hawaii, Manoa and after that the Chaminade University of Honolulu. It was here where he earned both of his bachelor’s degrees, one in sports medicine and the other in education and also his master’s degree, which is also in education.

But before that, Paul Lu’uwai started paddling. He started his freshman year in high school. Lu’uwai’s coaching career also started early. During high school, Lu’uwai stated, “I actually started coaching the second year I started paddling because we didn’t have a coach at that time.” Only being a young sophomore with little experience, Lu’uwai stepped up to the plate and started coaching his own team.

Lu’uwai paddled along with playing many of sports such as football, basketball, and baseball while still running both track and cross country in both his high school and college careers.

Lu’uwai coaches the Seabury Hall paddling team and has for the past seven years. He started in 2009. He had a friend who was the coach at the time whose wife became ill. At this same time, Luuwai’s friend also became a fireman. Lu’uwai said, “He just didn’t have enough time to coach, take care of his wife, and go through the training that all firemen have to go through, so he resigned as coach and offered me his job.” That is how he got the job as coach of the Seabury Hall’s paddling team.

But Seabury is not the only paddling team that he coaches. During the summer time, he coaches the keiki division for the Hawaiian Canoe Club on Maui.

The Hawaiian Canoe Club which is also referred to as HCC, was the first official “paddling club” in the state of Hawaii. Before that, there were just groups of friends or cliques who paddled but there were no real official clubs out there. HCC, was the first.

According to Kawai Lu’uwai, a senior at Seabury Hall who paddles both for HCC and Seabury Hall, said, “You can’t touch the HCC team, you just can’t.”

Lu’uwai has been coaching the children’s division for many years. Paddlers ages of eight all the way up to eighteen. Both the Seabury and the Hawaiian Canoe Club teams are very successful under his leadership.

The Spartan paddling team has been undefeated for the past two years on Maui. Kawai Lu’uwai said, “I’ve been paddling for three years,” and being apart of the boys varsity crew he said, “We’ve won every year that I’ve paddled here.”

On Sat. February 6, Seabury Hall’s paddlers went to states on Oahu. During states the won third for the girls, second for the boys, and first place in the mixed division.

Lu’uawai is a very successful coach. When asked what his coaching style is, Lu’uwai said, “No matter what their physical abilities are, I treat everyone the same.” he added, “I only know one way to coach. Hard, hard, and hard.”