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Karate Students Receive Jedi Training

Oyster Bay Family Karate teaches

Star Wars-themed workshop

Recently, an eager group of young padawans (Jedi students) received a lesson in using their force wisely at Oyster Bay Family Karate. It was no surprise that the Star Wars training class was a hit amongst the kids, although owner Bobby Rekha says he wasn’t expecting the enthusiasm he received from the adults. “As soon as we put the sign up, I had adult kick boxers asking if they could come.”

Some had even hoped to wear costumes.

Many parents, dads in particular, consider a knowledge of Star Wars to be a necessary right of passage for their children. One dad expressed the concern he felt when, during a game of “Angry Birds Star Wars,” it became apparent his son had never heard of Darth Vader.

“I knew it was time,” he said.

The attraction to Star Wars is particularly poignant for dads who grew up role-playing with their friends using imaginary lightsabers to fight the ominous Darth Vader. On the heels of Father’s Day many relished an opportunity to bond with their sons and daughters as they learned about the Star Wars characters and how to use a lightsaber properly.

Additionally, the 75-minute workshop provided lessons in respect, self-control and body awareness, as well as a lightsaber to take home.

“When you give kids weapons,” said Rekha, “you need to teach them how to use them properly.” With power comes responsibility.

Sempai Adam Insogna learned the traditional art of shotokan from his Sensei, Rekha. This form of Japanese karate is known for its emphasis on a balance of strength, endurance and speed.

Gichin Funakoshi, who is credited with creating as well as popularizing shotokan, said, “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.”

According to Rekha, the classes offered at Oyster Bay Family Karate, support the five maxims of karate: seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, refrain from violent behavior.

“Karate is actually the by-product,” says Rekha. “What we really strive to do here, is build character.”

Since weaponry is one aspect of shotokan, the instructors thought the lightsabers and Star Wars theme would bring an element of fun to their structured classes. Carlie Tietjen signed her son up because “he takes karate here and the Star Wars workshop seemed like a natural extension. I knew he would enjoy it,” she said.

Another reason Rekha chose to make the connection between karate and Star Wars was due to the philosophical nature of the story. “Some people call me Yoda,” he says. “Because I”m philosophical and at the same time, down to earth.”

Rekha has made it his business to keep his adult kick boxers as well as his younger karate students motivated and goal-oriented. Each week, he researches an inspirational quote that he shares to keep them focused. When Rekha needs motivation, he turns to a poster of Yoda which hangs in his office and reads, “There is do or don’t do, there is no try.”

News

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

Mammography Van

Thursday, July 17

History Walk

Saturday, July 19

Dessert in a Jar

Monday, July 21



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