Supporter Spotlight: Tim Lara

Are you an athlete?

State Champion Coach and Outrigger Canoe Paddler at Hawaiian Canoe Club

What role have you played in in Paddle Imua?

I am the owner of Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Private alternative for ocean activities on Maui.  Canoe, Kayak, Surf  and SUP.

What about outdoor sports (or paddling specifically) excite you?

The sense of community it creates.  On race days I get to see a host of friends who I wouldn’t see in my daily life otherwise.  Friends and paddlers from all sides of the island coming together for fun and competition.

 How does connecting with the ocean have therapeutic or healing effects on you? Do you feel it is good for other people to create and nurture this connection? Why?   

Its my form of meditation, It grounds me, keeps me sane.  When I travel and I’m away from the ocean for several days or weeks I start to get edgy.  I particularly enjoy paddling solo as its just me and the ocean. I can let my mind drift and escape my busy life.

How does the work that you do (through your business/career) contribute to healthy families/communities?

Although some of our guests do have ocean experience, we take many into the ocean for their first time or introduce them to paddle sports for their first time.  So anytime we can introduce someone to a new way to work out or appreciation for nature I think that strengthens their health.  As business we also pick a non profit or community group each month to raise awareness for.  We do that through a financial donation as well as education/promotion of their cause.  http://hawaiianpaddlesports.com/about/giving-back/

Why do you choose to support a program like Camp Imua?

I first got involved with Paddle Imua as a participant in the OC1 race, but what keeps us coming back and supporting this great cause is the smiles on faces of the camp members during the event.  Anything we can do to get stoked campers we’re happy to do.

Tell us a story about how a child has impacted or changed your life for the better. Or tell us about your experience at Paddle Imua last year.  

I wish i remember this kids name… but he was SUPER Stoked to be a part of our team.  We didn’t “win” but we came in second and he was happy to participate and feel like part of the team.  He was also stoked about the free Hawaiian Paddle Sports hat and shirt we gave him.  Hope to see him again this year!

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