Raetihi snowboarder Tui Wikohika has received a helping hand towards achieving his dream of representing New Zealand at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The 14-year-old is aiming to be part of the New Zealand freestyle snowboarding team and needs to train overseas during the 2019 New Zealand summer to help his chances of selection. However, despite working part-time and receiving assistance from his family and community, Tui was still short of funds to be able to train in Canada and Colorado over the New Zealand summer.
John Bartley, owner of Bayleys Ruapehu and Whanganui, read a Whanganui Chronicle story about Tui and said he was "truly inspired by Tui's humility, quiet confidence and commitment".
"The journey has not been easy with all of the family working hard and sacrificing to help this deserving young athlete," Bartley said.
"We were deeply moved by the all the effort, initiative and support of his family [Tui being the second oldest of five siblings] and the entire Raetihi community that rallied behind him to achieve his dream.
"Bayleys have agreed to sponsor the outstanding amount that Tui still needed to fund his first full season which means he will no longer need to resort to summer season practice on the trampoline with his shoes glued to a snowboard."
After competing against other international athletes in the United States and Canada, Tui will return to New Zealand for the 2019 winter season and work towards achieving world ranking by competing in Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) sanctioned events and the World Junior Rookie Tour.
"The team at Bayleys are moved by Tui's commitment and heart, and are excited to be involved with a young individual like Tui Wikohika," Bartley said.