You hear it all the time: To stay healthy, we need to stay active. Yet as we get older, it can be difficult to find the energy and motivation to get out and exercise.

Makua Ali‘i, O‘ahu’s premier senior softball league, provides mature athletes an opportunity to stay active and social. The “slow-pitch” softball league is the perfect activity for those who miss the camaraderie and competition of their little league days.

The league is comprised of 18 teams and is open to players aged 60 and over. Each week, games are held at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park (CORP) in Waipio. Game results published most Thursdays in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. There is also a league exclusively for those 70 and over that plays on Friday mornings at Ala Wai Community Park. Even for those who are no longer able to participate in team sports, attending and watching the games is a great motivator to get out of the house and meet those who share interests and passions. After the game is the perfect time to talk story!

Francis Lum, an 80-year-old member of Waipio Makules, has been playing with the league since 1997 — 20 years and counting! Even after kneereplacement surgery, he’s still going strong and coming out each week.

Francis Lum (left) and Danny Fujimoto (right) before their Monday game.

“I play Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then I come out practice Tuesday,” said Francis, “so that’s four days a week.”

It’s an exciting sport comprised of amazing people and a refreshing sense of community. Hearing everyone laughing, shouting encouragement and cracking jokes would make anyone passing by want
to join in the fun!

New players join the teams each season. When asked how experienced the newcomers usually are, Francis said, “It’s always different. Some people like myself — I came in and I didn’t have any experience.” For these players, it’s all about being with friends and having a good time. Of course, everyone gets older each year, so it’s good to see new faces. Francis’ advice to any one of the newbies planning on joining is “make sure you stretch good before you play. That’s the main thing.”

Sports aren’t only for the young guys. Knowledge and experience are just as important as raw strength and speed, and many of these players have more than just a few years of softball under their belts. The true test of their abilities comes during the state tournament held every year, when participating teams from O‘ahu and the outer islands compete for the championship in one of eight divisions.

Makua Ali‘i is the perfect opportunity for seniors to get much-needed fresh air and exercise in a social setting, while engaging in some fun and friendly competition.

Contact the Makua Ali‘i league to find out more about how you can join and play ball!

 


O‘AHU SENIOR SOFTBALL
808-637-5993 | www.oahuseniorsoftball.org

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