Warrior Transition Battalion: Paddling offers unique physical training experience

| August 8, 2014 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from the Schofield Barracks Warrior Transition Battalion finish their first lap in the ocean with volunteers from the Ka Mamlahoe Canoeing Club at Ke‘ehi Lagoon, here, July 29, as part of their Adaptive Reconditioning Program. Pictured are coach Mike Tosaki (far left), Staff Sgt. Charlie Tava'e (in canoe, from back to front), Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Brown, Sgt. 1st Class Shane Teixeira, Spc. Rena Ryan, Sgt. Chantal Yadao and coach Karen Spellmeyer (far right).

Soldiers from the Schofield Barracks Warrior Transition Battalion finish their first lap in the ocean with volunteers from the Ka Mamlahoe Canoeing Club at Ke‘ehi Lagoon, here, July 29, as part of their Adaptive Reconditioning Program. Pictured are coach Mike Tosaki (far left), Staff Sgt. Charlie Tava’e (in canoe, from back to front), Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Brown, Sgt. 1st Class Shane Teixeira, Spc. Rena Ryan, Sgt. Chantal Yadao and coach Karen Spellmeyer (far right).

 

 

Story and photos by
Capt. John Wolf
Tripler Army Medical Center
ONOLULU — For Soldiers in the U.S. Army, Hawaii can be a very unique place to be stationed.

Hawaii’s tropical climate allows its residents to experience warm weather all year-round.

The Soldiers of the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Schofield Barracks take advantage of the opportunity by engaging outrigger canoe paddling, a sport that WTB Soldiers say is a favorite in Hawai’i.

Starting at 6 a.m., Soldiers from the WTB started to arrive at Ke‘`ehi Lagoon to learn the basics of canoe paddling as part of their Adaptive Reconditioning Program (ARP).

By 6:30 a.m., volunteer coaches from the Ka Mamalahoe Canoe Club separated the Soldiers into six-man teams and began going over the mechanics for an efficient paddling stroke.

By 7 a.m., three outrigger canoes with 15 Soldiers were in the water to start the workout.

The sport of outrigger canoe paddling consisted of a six-person team in a canoe supported by an outrigger, which provided stability to the canoe.
Outrigger paddling is only one of the ARP activities WTB Soldiers engage in daily.

“The paddling program allows Soldiers in transition to do something that is totally holistic and out of the normal Army physical fitness environment by being in the water,” said Staff Sgt. Kris Ka‘`opuiki, who is in charge of the paddling program. “Soldiers learn teamwork and engage in physical activity to help them rehabilitate from their injuries. We teach the correct paddling technique to make sure they don’t exacerbate their injuries. It’s really important that they learn to paddle the right way.”

Staff Sgt. Charlie Tava’`e, an experienced paddler, also believes that the paddling program builds strong teamwork and wishes he had the same program at his home WTB in Fort Lewis, Washington.

Volunteers from the canoe club provided instruction and equipment, completely free of charge to the Soldiers.

Scotty Thompson, founder of Ka Mamalahoe Canoe Club, believes that paddling not only provides a great workout, but also builds a strong `ohana or family.

“Many of the Soldiers have become part of our `ohana,” he said. “Our mission is to be part of the community, perpetuate Hawaiian culture and emphasize the whole ‘family’ part of the program. The Soldiers give us the opportunity to work with them and we are very grateful for that.”

Thompson added, “Many of the Soldiers who are dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), have found peace on the open water and feel that it is much easier to cope with the rest of their day.”

In Ka‘`opuiki’s estimation, at least 75 Soldiers have already participated in the program since its inception, and a number of veterans have continued participation with the club following their transition out of the Army.
By the end of the session, the Soldiers were leaving the water all smiles and nursing sore muscles.

The Soldiers are currently training for the annual Duke’s Oceanfest Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta, Aug. 16. At that event, six teams
will compete against other wounded warriors, Gold Star family members and active duty service members from the other branches of the
service on the island.

Volunteer coach Mike Tosaki (second from left) of Ka Mamlahoe Canoeing Club helps Sgt. 1st Class Shane Teixeira (back left), Staff Sgt. Edward Barcinas (center) and Staff Sgt. Charlie Tava'e, all from the Schofield Barracks Warrior Transition Battalion, perfect their paddling technique at Ke‘ehi Lagoon, here, July 29 as part of their Adaptive Reconditioning Program.

Volunteer coach Mike Tosaki (second from left) of Ka Mamlahoe Canoeing Club helps Sgt. 1st Class Shane Teixeira (back left), Staff Sgt. Edward Barcinas (center) and Staff Sgt. Charlie Tava’e, all from the Schofield Barracks Warrior Transition Battalion, perfect their paddling technique at Ke‘ehi Lagoon, here, July 29 as part of their Adaptive Reconditioning Program.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Community, Health, Wounded Warriors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *