Maui News

MIL relaxes spectator ban after parents rally to attend games

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A recent Baldwin High and Kamehameha Schools Maui junior varsity soccer game is shown. A petition is pleading with the Maui Interscholastic League to lift a ban on spectators. PC: Jamie Akiona

A grassroots effort by parents “humbly” asking to attend their kids’ games led to Maui Interscholastic League on Tuesday reversing its decision to ban spectators.

Effective immediately a “limited number” of parents/guardians of participating teams will be allowed to attend MIL events, MIL announced online Tuesday, days after Maui Now published the story. MIL had banned spectators beginning Jan. 7 due to the omicron surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We’re just so, so very grateful for the overwhelming amount of support from the community,” Maui resident Jamie Fujioka said Tuesday afternoon. “And we’re excited to get out there and be there for these kids. It’s still a work in progress and there’s a lot going into it on a daily basis.”

Fujioka had launched at change.org less than a week ago asked MIL to reconsider allowing parents attend their kids’ games. “Allow spectators to attend MIL High School Sports” generated more than 2,000 signatures and was recently closed.

She encouraged the community to be “flexible and respectful” of the rules that MIL will outline for spectators. Fujioka emphasized that being proactive, having solutions and supporting MIL were key to turning the tides.

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“We want to come alongside the MIL, to help them and support them,” she said. “Everyone is short staffed. We really need the community to rally to make it happen. We don’t want to go backward, only forward.”

Kehaulani Cerizo
Kehaulani Cerizo was born and raised on Maui and worked for nearly 15 years as a news reporter, copy editor and features editor at daily newspapers. She earned awards at The Maui News in Wailuku and at Today’s Local News in San Diego.
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