PCC 50th, Day 4: Tons of fun

Tuesday, September 4, 2013 — The fourth official day of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Golden Anniversary celebration started early, with a fun run/walk around the PCC grounds, followed by the “real-deal,” the PCC 50th Sports Festival.


Physical Facilities team — the “bluenatics”

As a side-note for those who can’t be here, several people reported they’ve been very happy with our live-stream event coverage; so, between that and these summary reports, we hope everyone — whether in Laie or not — can feel they’re part of the PCC’s Golden Jubilee.

PCC 50th Sports Festival

PCC people have always been sports minded, and the Center has sponsored various kinds of runs in the past, but the original idea behind our opening Sports Festival activity was to have a “color” run/walk — you know, like that East Indian festival [Holi] where everybody throws brightly colored powder on each other. Well, that wasn’t very practical, it turned out, but the runner/walkers still had fun . . . and some of them sprayed each other with that aerosol spider-web stuff, which was colored.

The real excitement started about a half-hour later when several hundred PCC employees, as well as a few hardy alumni and service missionaries, met on the BYU-Hawaii soccer field. For really old-timers, that’s in the back, mauka of the Pacific Theater.


It was an absolutely beautiful Hawaiian morning, if not a little warm, and every group or team had brightly colored tee shirts to set them apart. After finally getting everybody lined up, it was time to warm up: PCC’s own Penny Taosoga Toilolo, it turns out, is a zumba dynamo. She was relentless in leading the PCC peeps.

Next, each of the teams offered up their well-rehearsed cheers, or not in some cases. Then, with a good sweat going, emcees (and co-chairs) Steve Laulu of the Samoan Village and Jimmy Mapu, Guide Services, declared, “Let the games begin.”

The various relays and activities had been set up all across the soccer field, with most of the emphasis on fun. In the coconut relay, for example, opposing team members started by each picking up an amo — the old Polynesian stick carried across the shoulders, with a coconut-leaf basket and a couple of coconuts on each end, racing down the course to a low hurdle, stopping to throw the coconuts in the basket until knocking all the coconut husks off a barrel-top (like those carnival baseball throws), then racing back until everyone had completed the course.

In another area spirited games of volleyball and dodge ball were going on — pretty standard stuff; but the pineapple croquet required competing teams to tie a pineapple on a string around their waists and then using, shall we say, hula motions driving the coconut “ball” to the other end of the track.

dizzy_yet090413There was also a muumuu relay in which the opposing team members had to put on a, yup, muumuu, race to the first traffic cone, put on a swim fin, continuing racing downfield to a baseball bat, then put their foreheads on the end of the bat and spin around several times — trying to maintain enough balance after to race back to the beginning [as pictured above].

friendly_relay090413And then there was the barrow-and-ball relay . . . as in each team counted off in twos, one would pick up the other’s legs and that person would have to “wheelbarrow” walk to the first traffic cone. Then they would both have to do a couple of turns with the hula hoop, race to the next point where they picked up a squishy ball, and placing that tightly between their chests [pictured at right], would then have to carry it to the next point and back without dropping the ball. That part was quite friendly, you might say.

Two words summarize the games: Good fun!

— Story and photos by PCC alum Mike Foley


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