The trip of a lifetime is just 18 days and a few hundred dollars away for local BMX rider Amy Martin.
Having begun riding 18 months ago, the 15-year-old is ranked No1 in the country for her age group, but had to raise $8000 to represent New Zealand at the BMX World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, next month.
With help from family friends, local business and generous strangers that target has almost been reached, mum Jodie Martin told Hawke's Bay Today.
"We are almost there ... I am just blown away by all the people who have helped," she said.
Among those who made a donation to her fundraising pool were schools Miss Martin had been involved with, including Te Mata Primary and Iona College.
"They have been amazing - Te Mata, where Amy used to go, raised $750 with a mufti day on Friday and Iona held a bake sale which raised $350 - that's over $1000 alone."
Long-term, Miss Martin's goal is to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games in 2020.
Each weekend, she has travelled to BMX tracks throughout the North Island, as Hawke's Bay does not have a full-size facility, but all that is set to change. A national-standard BMX track, under construction at Romane's Drive in Havelock North, is due to be finished by October.
Hawke's Bay BMX Club coach John Smith, who sold Miss Martin her first BMX and gave her initial training, said she had a certain X-factor. "Amy, and there are a couple of others, who just have that thing that you can't buy, that makes them get out and do their sprints and go to the gym," he said. "That's what you hear about after they succeed, when people ask 'how did you get there?' and they say 'hard work'."
To donate visit the website: www.makeachamp.com/amymartin. Visit Miss Martin at: www.facebook.com/amymartinbmx