A University of Hawaii dean has been honored for her work on creating a Friday Night Lights program in Hawaii.
In July, Nathan Murata, dean of the UH College of Education received the honor from State Senator Michelle Kadani.
Inspired by the popular film and TV show called “Friday Night Lights,” helped the school’s Kinesiology and Rehabiitation Services program create the program that provides interscholastic athletic participation opportunities for students with disabilities and those who are at-risk.
The emphasizes team spirit, team pride and teamwork and diminishes the focus on winning.
“It is our goal to offer more and more students of all abilities and their families the chance to experience the excitement and impact that come with Friday night sporting events,” Murata said.
The plan pairs students with disabilities or those who are at-risk with their peers, encouraging and benefiting for all involved on and off the courts, allowing the student athletes, their families and the community the opportunity to be a part of something previously reserved for only high-performing athletes.
“When I found out about the work that Dean Nathan Murata has been doing to set up this basketball tournament, I was so blown away,” Kidani said. “For someone who is as busy as he is to still find the time to support the special-needs community in this way is nothing short of remarkable. This recognition is the least we could do to honor his work.”
“Friday Night Lights will be expanding to include more high schools interested in engaging student athletes who are at-risk or have disabilities to represent their schools in an official athletic event.”