Documentary Featuring Challenges of Molokai High Athletics Airs This Weekend
Downtown Athletic Club Hawaii News Release
“Going the Distance: The Journey of Molokai and Lanai High Sports,” a new documentary chronicling the unique, harsh challenges faced by students representing Molokai High School or Lanai High School in interscholastic athletics, airs on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. on KGMB and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL. “Going the Distance” was filmed and produced by aio Hawaii and the Downtown Athletic Club Hawaii (DACH) with the broadcast support of Hawaii News Now.
Unlike other high school teams nationwide that simply board buses, every away game or tournament for Molokai and Lanai student-athletes means a bumpy ferry or small plane ride, often departing in the early morning, twelve hours or more before game time. The pre-game hours might include seasickness if traveling by ocean, other-island stopovers if traveling by air, and “killing time” in fast-food restaurants or public parks. And following evening games, teams will usually spend the night in the host school’s gymnasium before starting their journey home in the morning.
Beyond the inconvenience and physical difficulty, “Going the Distance” reveals the financial strains felt by Molokai’s and Lanai’s high school athletic departments. Despite their extraordinary efforts to fundraise, school officials find themselves with annual budget shortfalls preventing new programs and more participation. Moreover, to save on travel costs, athletic directors and coaches are sometimes forced to make painful decisions to keep some players home while the rest of their team travels to matches.
The debut of “Going the Distance” is timed in conjunction with the Downtown Athletic Club Hawaii’s effort to raise public awareness and needed funding to support the Molokai and Lanai High athletic travel cause. DACH is holding its second annual benefit fundraiser, “Cheers for Molokai and Lanai High,” on Wednesday, January 29, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in front of Murphy’s Bar and Grill, located at 2 Merchant St., in downtown Honolulu. More information and tickets are available at downtownathleticclubhawaii.org.
DACH’s previous “Cheers for Champions” event raised $30,000 to support the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance, which helps to prepare local student-athletes for college and match them with athletic scholarships or financial aid.
“The incredible dedication to competing and representing the Molokai and Lanai communities shown by student-athletes, their families, administrators, coaches, and island businesses is truly inspiring,” said Scott Simon, volunteer executive director of the Downtown Athletic Club Hawaii. “‘Going the Distance’ shares important stories that will tug at the heart of anyone who cares about Hawaii, our youth, and opportunity for all.”