EPIC has brought the benefits of sports to income-restricted youth, by providing an opportunity to fall in love with sport, improve health, and create stronger communities where they live. As a result of the prolonged effects of the pandemic another need has emerged, and we are trying to ‘take a swing’ at this dilemma. While we have primarily had a younger demographic, ages 5-12, coming to train at the facility, over the last year we have seen a tremendous increase in our 14-18-year-old teens come in for baseball & softball. High school athletic play in Hawaii has struggled for over two years now, whether it is lack of coaches, or due to the schools completely canceling the seasons because of the pandemic. The older kids are losing out on potential scholarship offers. Our 10th-12th graders do not have the luxury of tournament play or recruiting showcases compared to their mainland teammates where college scouts can easily drive to attend a game and evaluate a potential players ability. These missed opportunities can be devastating to families who are relying on scholarships for their kids to go to college.
Many who could play at a higher level, just don’t get the opportunity for exposure because of the economic barrier of mainland travel. Even the academic institutions have had their travel budgets cut for travel recruiting of potential players. The ‘in-person’ assessments have become limited during the pandemic.
It's a new generation for this age group and EPIC has adapted and created a solution; the “Metrics & More” Program. It provides innovative training equipment and a facility for players to train and improve their skill sets with retired professional coaches. This program allows Hawaii students the opportunity to record the metrics that prospective colleges use to evaluate when offering scholarship awards. It also includes the implementation of technology to provide a virtual way for college athletic programs to view players on line.
Funded by Oahu, HI (April 2022)