Ted Fukushima retired as athletic director at Kaiser in 1990, but a decision he made a long time ago helped the Cougars’ girls swimming and diving team win the Oahu Interscholastic Association championship Saturday.
Kaiser scored 313 points, 29 more than rival Kalani. Fifty of the Cougars’ points came from diving, and as coach Asa Tanaka pointed out, Kaiser is the only OIA school with a diving board.
“Through attrition, other schools through the years had to get rid of it,” Tanaka said. “We lucked out. I had a good AD (Fukushima) that allowed us to keep the board. A lot of high schools give it up because of liability. He was willing to put up with that liability, knowing how valuable it was going to be. Ted Fukushima, he allowed us to keep the board and we maintain it.
“At one time, all the public schools that have pools had a diving board. A lot of it has to do with liability. At Kaiser, we’ve got 12 foot walls around the pool, so it takes an extraordinary effort to come in to the pool and once you do that, you took such an effort to get in and you got hurt it’s your own fault. That kind of thing.”
Tanaka said he’s not sure how diving can proliferate in the OIA again.
“Diving put us over the top,” he added. “It would be great if other schools could say, ‘We need a diving board to compete.’ The ILH schools have diving boards.”
Fukushima spent seven years as the OIA’s head man before his retirement in 1997. He was Kaiser’s first AD when the school opened in 1971.