Kiri Winiata-Enoka from Ōtaki has been selected for the New Zealand Junior White Sox team heading to the Under 18 World Series in Lima, Peru in August.

Coming from a sporty family, Kiri has played softball since the age of eight, starting out in the Kāpiti U11 competition before moving to play for Pare-Plim.

Kiri is now playing in the Hutt Valley after moving to be coached by Naomi Shaw and Kiri Shaw at the Saints.

"I love playing sports, I play everything I can… netball, basketball, athletics and softball.

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"I just really like softball and there are lots of opportunities with softball, especially being able to play overseas.

"The game is different to my other sports — there are two aspects, you get to hit and field."

Kiri Winiata-Enoka in action.
Kiri Winiata-Enoka in action.

Kiri has to travel each week to team training and games and has been training with her dad during the week.

She does fitness training by herself in the mornings before school including gym work, weights and cardio along with skill training after school with her Dad.

The team will be in Peru for a couple of weeks and is looking to play some warmup games in America beforehand.

"I was excited to make it in.

"I wasn't relieved, but I was glad to know that all the hard work I had done has paid off."

Generally playing as in infielder, short stop or catcher, Kiri has been picked as an outfielder for the Junior White Sox team.

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"Softball is quite a short, fast sport, but you have to do lots of cardio too because the tournaments go on for a long time and it can get very hot outside in the sun.

"I cover all my bases just to be sure."

Kiri is in her final year at Ōtaki College and is considering a career in the New Zealand Police or Airforce.

"Eventually I want to play in the New Zealand White Sox, I hope to keep playing for as long as I can."

Kiri will be fundraising hard over then next few months, on top of her training and school work, to raise $7000 to get to Peru as softball is a self-funded sport.

"My family and school have been really supportive but I'm hoping to find some sponsors to help out with the cost."

If you or your business can help sponsor Kiri, contact Helena Winiata on clarryandhelena@icloud.com