The China Uemura Wahine Surfing Classic will bring together female surfers of all ages on June 4 and 5 at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki for a friendly surf competition that also supports a good cause. Since the event’s inception in 1996, proceeds from this annual event are donated to the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC), a program of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
“We’re very grateful to China Uemura for hosting this event and for bringing awareness to the community about our treatment services and the help that’s available for victims of sexual assault,” said SATC Executive Director Adriana Ramelli. “As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on community support to help us fulfill our mission to support the emotional healing process of those sexually assaulted in Hawaii, to increase community awareness about their needs and to reduce the incidence of all forms of sexual assault.”
A surf promoter and former champion longboarder, Uemura started the meet 20 years ago because there were no surf contests exclusively for women at the time. He began donating proceeds from the competition to SATC after a public service announcement on TV struck a chord with him.
"I heard about kids getting sexually abused ... and I wanted to help them and let parents know there's a place they can go for help if something like this happens,” said Uemura. “I also knew community agencies like SATC always need more money ... a surf competition was a way to spread the word and also raise some money for them."
Four disciplines make up the Wahine Classic and include shortboard, longboard, stand-up paddle and a team challenge, with age-divisions ranging from 7 and under to 60 and over. With the near consistent sets rolling through the South Shore summer swell, this is a great opportunity female surfers have to ride uncrowded waves in Waikiki.
On the shoreline, “Uncle China,” as he is affectionately known, will give away new surfboards to students whose grades were most improved throughout the 2015-2016 school year. SATC will have an interactive booth and provide safety and sexual abuse prevention education to children and youth attending the event using fun, beach-friendly activities. The SATC education team and staff will be available both days to answer questions and provide referrals to their services if needed.
For more information about the competition, visit chinauemura.com/upcoming_events.