Coach Shelley and the paddlers of Ikaika Academy have been a big part of our children's lives for a number of years now. We are so happy that Coach Shelley provides leadership, compassion, kindness and positive awareness throughout their training camps. Going to Nationals in Georgia 2019 summer was a real eye opener and team building experience. We are so happy and blessed to have found IKAIKA HAWAI`I WATERMANS ACADEMY.
Ikaika Hawaii (Watermans Academy) is a non profit organization that changes lives of youth on and off the water! Having been a long time volunteer who served on the Board, participated in the administration of the programs offered, and attended local and national competitions and now as an Advisor, it has been a pleasure to witness the happy outcomes of thousands of youth from age 7 and on up to young adults since 2013. In addition, Ikaika Hawaii provides adult programs up to age 70+ to maintain health, wellbeing and racing competition, if interested. The goal is to foster current and future community leaders through positive water sport activities --champions on and off the water we call them--who value the benefits of hard work, goal setting, a healthy lifestyle, respect for all others you encounter, and stewardship of the environment. We have had the best stories over the years about the kids met from Hawaii and numerous states, but also Japan, Australia, Canada, and Tahiti and the incredible feedback from parents! It is such a joy when a college aged "Ikaika Alum" comes back over the summer to visit or if qualified to volunteer! Due to the excellent training, the elite equipment, and the scholarships (approximately $52000 for training or travel for those In need) provided by Ikaika Hawaii over the years, the more dedicated participants may seek the rigorous pathway for national and world competition, leadership training, college acceptance on rowing crews, and the opportunity to develop skills through the Coach the Coach program. However, if having a wonderful experience, gaining confidence in and around the water, having fun while respecting others and nature, and becoming water safe is the interest, Ikaika Hawaii is there for the community as well! Having an inspirational coach and founder, who developed the ASPIRE philosophy (Attitude, Sportsmanship, Individual Responsibility, Respect and Enjoyment), along with the expertise and dedication of the Board, and a strong parents group with amazing community support, Ikaika Hawaii continues to thrive and provide more opportunities for learning and excellence, and recently expanded its already extensive fleet of equipment! The values instilled and modeled in all the programs, the experience of traveling and racing in events on the mainland or other countries, the positive comradiere among teammates will last a lifetime for our "Ikaika Kids" wherever their futures take them. This organization and the positive impact it provides for our island and the amazing young people it benefits is so worthwhile!
As a parent, the vision of the Ikaika Hawaii Waterman's Academy is truly inspirational..... developing character traits (ASPIRE) that build success and champions through exploring the realm of science, language, body mechanics and water sports. My son over the past six years has completed the training and experience to become a waterman's coach and to represent the USA in international competition. He now feels the confidence in himself to pursue the challenge of becoming an Olympian yet humble and excited to share his growth and experience with others who are pursuing their own goals and dreams. These character traits are so foundational to his future success.
Thank you so much to Coach Shelley, founder of Ikaika Hawaii, parents, athletes and supporters for this amazing journey and tremendous contribution to our local community.
My son met coach Shelley Oates-Wilding at an Ikaika Watermans Academy program when he was 11. Her ASPIRE coaching philosophy motivated him to set and reach sprint kayak distance and time goals, and compete confidently against athletes who were bigger and stronger than he. It wasn't until his fifth national competition that his technique and strength enabled him to win 9 medals in the 9 kayak and canoe events he competed in. He went on to finish 9th in the world at the Olympic Hopes Regatta in Slovakia at age 15 in the 16 and under group. He continues to train, eat well and work hard as he prepares for his ultimate goal of racing in the 2024 Olympics, while keeping his 4.0 GPA like most of the Ikaika athletes. As Watermans Academy coaches working with kids ages 8 to 13, they demonstrate the same ASPIRE philosophy of having a great attitude, sportsmanship, perseverance, individual responsibility, respect and enjoyment of the watermans activities that they love.
As a coach/athlete/relative of pupils at IKAIKA Waterman’s I’ve gotten to develop leadership, public speaking, and knowledge of many of the mental and physical benefits of learning water sports.
There are two things that make this program exceptional: the first is getting to see kids come through the program and become eager to give back by joining the coaching team, the second is getting to work with the program director Shelley Oates and learn from her expertise in teaching through positive reinforcement and waterman safety!
My family and I have been involved with Ikaika Hawaii Watermans Academy for about 6-7 years now. My daughter joined as a waterman and currently coaches. Not only does Coach Shelley instill the love for water sports in these kids, she inspires them to be more! The kids from the academy learn not only about sportsmanship, they also learn to respect each other, take responsibility for their actions and become strong leaders.
My daughter has always been a bit shy/reserved, but at the academy, she learned to work outside of her comfort zone and become more assertive. Coach Shelley saw something in her and challenged her by giving her a leadership position and it made her shine and excel. She is now a confident person. For that, I am ever so thankful!
I have been with Ikaika for over a year and have enjoyed every moment being there. From practicing with the team to becoming a coach, Ikaika has made a very positive impact on me. The watermans academy is wonderful program that I have coached during the summer. At first a lot of the new children who join feel shy but they always have a blast at the end of the day because of the coaches support and their group members happy smiles and good attitudes. The kids are constantly engaged in activities and they all have one on one discussions with their designated coach about what goals they want to fulfill. By the end of the week, kids in the watermen program learn so much from their experience(water safety and water crafts) and at the end of the day they’re excited to return again. It’s so great to see people learning so much while having so much fun and feeling great about theirselves. I am so honored to be apart of an outstanding group of individuals.
Both of my kids spent several summers and winter breaks at Ikaika Waterman's Academy. As young kids, the Ikaika program taught our kids skill and confidence in the water as well as a fantastic value system. My daughter went on to kayak, paddle canoes and play water polo in high school and my son is becoming an accomplished waterman. I feel that the Ikaika program provided my kids with a deep love and knowledge of the ocean which generated their interest in water sports. Both kids worked as counselors at Ikaika this past summer and enjoyed giving back to the program. Coach Shelly is fantastic coach and mentor!
Very fun positive group of people. Awesome experience to learn about ocean sports and flat water kayaking. Shelly is a positive inspiration for my son and all the other kids. I am very great full for the motivation she has given my son.
My kids joined Ikaika about 3 years ago. They loved it from the start--the philosophy and attitude that the club has is so positive and life-changing. My daughter is motivated to go to practices twice daily and spends every spare moment she has with Ikaika. My son, who never liked to practice anything, now is dedicated and sets goals on and off the water. I am so happy they are both involved in something I also feel great about!
Both my 2nd and 7th grader absolutely LOVE Ikaika! The kids spend a good part of the day learning about and trying water activities- from paddle boarding to sailing and paddling. The day is entirely spent in the glorious outdoors and it is an absolute joy for them. Ikaika puts safety beyond all else and the first thing they all learn is respecting the Ocean and how to be safe in the water. We are so lucky to have Shelley leading this amazing program.
Both of my sons participated in Ikaika Watermans Academy for several years and my older son continued his involvement as a volunteer with the program. They learned so much more than just about water-sports! The focus on character development and leadership helped them learn more about themselves and about being a positive member of their community.
My son, 12-years old, had limited waterman sport experience despite growing up in Hawaii. With the quarantine, water sports seemed like the safest way to engage in athletics. I’m so grateful that we did. He is a connoisseur of programs from his attending so many so I was bracing myself that he would not enjoy it by he raves about his experience, every day!
The staff are friendly, earnest and positive. There are different levels of expertise with participants but enjoying yourself, being positive and trying your best makes it so that all can grow. Shelley has been a positive and easy going leader.
We are so appreciative to have found Ikaika especially during this vulnerable and insular time.