Whether its hosting movie nights, selling products or labouring in someone’s backyard, Harry Coltman and Zach Langbridge are willing to do whatever it takes to get to America.
The 17-year-olds have been named in the New Zealand junior development side to play in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in July.
However, before boarding the plane the pair must raise the $6000 price tag for the trip.
“It’s some decent dosh to travel across the world,” Zach says.
The Nelson Pines players say the frantic fundraising efforts will all pay off as they realise a childhood dream.
“It’s been a goal since I was a kid,” says Zach. “The States is supposedly the hub of volleyball and then there is the added bonus of having scouts there. It’s going to be amazing.”
New Zealand is one of only three countries, along with Australia and Puerto Rico, invited to the prestigious H i g h – P e r f o r m a n c e Championships, which acts as the U.S age group nationals.
The boys were invited to attend a 43-man camp in Wellington after being scouted at nationals playing for Nelson College. From there, players were selected into two squads of 14.
“It’s been a hectic time trying to get everything sorted before July,” says Harry.
The boys have been raising money through a range of initiatives including a Sprig and Fern quiz and movie nights, supermarket stock takes and setting up a GiveaLittle page.
“We have just been finding any way possible, if that means labouring in someone’s yard that’s what I’ll do,” says Zach.
Harry is also working part time at Mitre 10.
The trip may also give the boys the chance of meeting one of the biggest sporting superstars on the planet.
The boys will spend two days in Los Angeles, which will include a visit to Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy
“They are trying to get Kobe to come, but I’m not holding my breath,” Zach says.
Despite the excitement, the boys have no illusions about the level of competition they will face at the tournament.
“Looking at previous U.S. teams they are all pretty much 6’8” so it will be a step up.”
Harry says the New Zealand side may not be the tallest, but they play with plenty of heart.
“We don’t have the size they do but all our players really want to be in the team, so all give 100 per cent on every play.”