Shop and Score

You can support our student-athletes by purchasing selected products at Times and Big Save supermarkets now through Oct. 15

For 13 years, the Shop and Score program has enabled family and friends to earn points toward free adidas uniforms and equipment for Hawaii high school sports programs.

All you have to do is buy selected sponsor products at any Times or Big Save supermarket from Sept. 4 to Oct. 15 to earn points for the school of your choice.

“If you have relatives on other islands, it’s a nice way for them to support their nieces, nephews or grandchildren,” says Diane Nitta, secretary for Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation. “Maybe they’d like to donate something to the school but they can’t afford to. This way, they feel involved.”

In return, private and public high schools on Kaua’i, Oahu and Maui will earn a share of $250,000. This year, there are 60 participating schools, and each is guaranteed a minimum of $500. Overall, the Shop and Score program has provided more than $1.25 million worth of adidas uniforms and equipment to island schools.

Last year Waimea and Kaua’i high schools were among the top 10 points-earning schools statewide, and Kapaa High School came in 13th. In total, Kaua’i high schools received more than $35,000 in free uniforms and equipment.

Kapa’a High School earned $10,000 and is able to provide uniforms for 70 athletes on both boys and girls volleyball and soccer teams. Kaua’i High School earned $12,000, and the money will provide uniforms for the boys and girls softball and soccer teams. Waimea High School earned $13,000 in new adidas uniforms for both the boys and girls basketball teams.

“Based on (state) budget cuts, some schools have to use uniforms over and over again, and at some point it just doesn’t look good,” says Gerald Shintaku, business manager of Kraft Foods Hawaii. “But just think how you would feel if you got something new and how proud you would be to wear it.”

Jon Kobayashi, athletic director for Waimea High School, says new team uniforms range between $7,000 and $10,000. Working on a 2007 budget, Kobayashi is responsible for 17 sports, 38 teams and more than 200 games a year. In 2007, he had between three and seven coaches per team. Today, it has dwindled to as little as one per sport coaching the boys and girls teams.

“Every little bit helps,” says Greg Gonsalves, Kapaa High School athletic director, who oversees 16 sports and 39 teams. “We have to pay for busing, which can cost $300 for one bus. We have to pay our coaches and officials, plus state tournament travel, supplies and equipment.”

Kraft Foods Hawaii, Times Supermarkets and Big Save Markets have partnered in the effort with Nabisco, Jubilee Paper Products, Sterling Silver Meats, Paramount Export Produce, ConAgra Foods, Darigold, The Sports Line Company, adidas, Pepsi, Kimberly Clark, Dreyer’s, American Savings Bank, MidWeek, Kellogg’s, Quaker, Reckitt Benckiser and Roman Meal.

“Kraft is proud to support our community and Hawaii high school athletics through the Shop and Score program,” says Shintaku. “It’s been an incredible 13 years, where we’ve been able to make a difference in the lives of student athletes across the state. That means a lot to us.”

Schools can earn an additional 100 points when shoppers open a Kalo Checking account at any American Savings Bank on Oahu, Kaua’i and Maui. The bank also will award $25,000 in scholarships to outstanding students.

For Shop and Score sponsors, the program is more than just outfitting young athletes at Hawaii schools. It’s about building character and well-rounded citizens. One of the most important lessons a child can gain from participating in sports and team activities is how to play fair with others. Team sports also help young adults to develop social skills and encourage positive interactions with coaches and other athletes.

“Relationships that are formed as student athletes carry over,” says Dino Pabre. As the athletic director for Kaua’i High School, he oversees 18 sports and 12 teams. “You see it 10, 20 years from now – people on your baseball team still play softball together. It’s ongoing on this island.”

Academically, kids who play sports increase concentration and develop problem-solving skills, learn how to set and attain goals, gain skills that show up in school or on the job, improve self-esteem through success and failure, and learn time-management skills. Students who play sports work harder in the classroom. A study of 2,308 student-athletes in grades 7-12 found that 56 percent received A’s and 45 percent received B’s and C’s.

“The outdoor classroom is a valuable learning tool for young men and women,” says Kobayashi. “In class, you learn about reading, writing and arithmetic. On the field, you learn important life lessons about never giving up, working hard and team-work.

“We really appreciate Times, Big Save, Kraft and all the sponsors for the Shop and Score program and what it does for the kids,” adds Kobayashi. “If it weren’t for that, we’d be taxing the athletes and community with fundraisers. This helps the kids concentrate on sports – and look good!”