Fundraising is underway by friends, whanau and club mates to help get four local boys to Thailand later this year, where they will represent the Far North and New Zealand at a major international martial arts tournament.
The four fighters were picked in the New Zealand team heading to the 2017 IFMA Youth World (Muay Thai) Championships in Bangkok from August 3-11 following a trial and selection camp in Hamilton earlier this month.
They are, Lfah Trego (age 10, fighting in the 43kg/ 10-11-year-old section at the event) and Manu Tepania (13, 63kg/12-13) from the Whatuwhiwhi-based East Coast Muay Thai club; and Kaitaia brothers Adam (8, fighting up in the 32kg/ 10-11 division) and David Halkyard Leaf (12, 40kg/12-13).
Tepania ended up fighting and beating Toko Maru Taylor (Kawiah) as part of qualifying process at the qualifying camp, while Lfah automatically qualified for the team this year around, having represented New Zealand at the same event last year (and also not having to compete with anyone else fighting in his age/ weight grade in the New Zealand team).
At the same trial, Adam beat Tama Moke (Evil Action New Plymouth) via unanimous points decision, while David - who fought at the youth worlds last year - stopped Isaiah Isaiah Kerehama (ECMT) in round 2 of their three-round bout in which qualification was at stake.
The four fighters along with their clubs and extended whanau are currently fundraising for the costs involved with making the trip.