Head­ing for Jui Jitsu gold in US

Hamilton News - - SPORT - Candice Gol­lan Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent

Five Hamil­ton Jiu-jitsu com­peti­tors are headed to the United States for the Jiu Jitsu World Cham­pi­onships af­ter tak­ing out gold in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions at a New Zealand na­tional com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this year.

The Waikato Brazil­ian Jiu-jitsu Academy has a team of five headed to Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia next month af­ter their Academy placed fifth over­all in New Zealand at the Jiu Jitsu No Gi Na­tion­als in Au­gust.

Vil­iami Bal­lard, 22, Tyler Brom­ley, 9, Hai­ley Con­way, 11, Mor­gan Rogers, 10, and Maeana Watene, 41, are in the age-di­verse team ready to fly the New Zealand flag at the sport­ing event.

Co-owner and se­nior man­ager of the Waikato Brazil­ian Jiu-jitsu Academy Amanda Ni­colls was proud of her team’s ef­forts at the No Gi Na­tion­als.

“Maeana was hos­pi­talised be­fore na­tion­als but she still com­peted,” Ni­colls said. “She’s my hero.”

Ni­colls de­scribes her team as a hum­ble bunch who would be em­bar­rassed if they heard some­one giv­ing them praise.

“Vil­iami is in­dis­pens­able and an in­cred­i­ble fighter,” Ni­colls said.

“He went up a belt from blue to a pur­ple belt and two weeks af­ter took out gold in his divi­sion.”

Tyler ,who has been with the academy since he was three years old, was de­scribed as the most charm­ing and most ded­i­cated.

“I’m ex­cited and ner­vous,” Tyler said.

Hai­ley and Mor­gan echoed his sen­ti­ments and added they were look­ing for­ward to the ad­ven­ture.

The adults of the team fly over to the states two weeks be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion for a train­ing camp that has them train­ing three-times a day.

To get to the World Cham­pi­onships in Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, each com­peti­tor must raise $5000 to cover all their ex­penses.

Bar­be­cues, raf­fles and Givealit­tle pages are be­ing used as some of the ways to fundraise.

“This is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity,” Ni­colls said.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion visit the groups’s Face­book page: Waikato Brazil­ian Jiu Jitsu Academy.

Photo / Candice Gol­lan

The Waikato Brazil­ian Jiu-jitsu Academy No Gi Na­tion­als squad. (Front, from left) Ho­hepa Gibb, An­dre Hopo­toa, Hunter Mur­raysi­mon, Pheonix Ni­colls, Trey Perkins, Lo­gan Fisher, Ne­vaeha Perkins, Kian Mcna­mara, Har­mony Ni­chol­son, Tyler Rogers, Oliver Fisher. (Back) Vil­iami Bal­lard, Tyler Brom­ley, Hai­ley Con­way, Mor­gan Rogers and Maeana Watene.

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