Vol­ley­ball dream comes at a cost

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KARO­LINE TUCKEY

A tal­ented Porirua ath­lete is poised for big things.

Camilla Time Tau­tua, 15, was named in the New Zealand un­der17 girls’ vol­ley­ball pro­gramme ear­lier this year, and from the de­vel­op­ment squad has been se­lected in the team to face Aus­tralia in a test se­ries in July.

The Porirua Col­lege stu­dent is ec­static to be given the chance to play at an in­ter­na­tional level and trains for vol­ley­ball most days of the week, as well as play­ing bas­ket­ball, net­ball, and work­ing hard at school.

‘‘She’s won­der­ful. She’s just a re­ally ded­i­cated player in all the sport that she plays in. She’s a real leader and she’s just ex­tremely tal­ented and dis­ci­plined,’’ says col­lege sports co-or­di­na­tor Julie Richards.

But the priv­i­lege to train with some of New Zealand’s top vol­ley­ball coaches has its price.

As well as fundrais­ing to travel to Aus­tralia for the tests, Camilla has had to keep up with a de­mand­ing and costly sched­ule of travel within New Zealand for tour­na­ments and drills with the squad, in­clud­ing trips to Te Aroha and Christchurch on week­ends.

With her fam­ily and coaches, she has held a walkathon, sausage siz­zle and school mufti day, and ap­plied for grants and spon­sor­ship.

Ms Richards says fundrais­ing has been dif­fi­cult be­cause of the short win­dow be­tween se­lec­tion and competition, which counts her out of most grants.

Funds raised have been swal­lowed up by travel dur­ing the squad’s train­ing and by gear re­quired, and sup­port­ers now face the battle to raise $3200 to send her to Ade­laide.

‘‘She’s got nat­u­ral tal­ent and it would be a shame if she ... couldn’t go be­cause of lack of fund­ing,’’ Ms Richards says.

‘‘ She’s done ev­ery­thing, she tries re­ally hard and she’s re­ally com­mit­ted.’’

At 1.85 me­tres (6 ft), Camilla is the sec­ond tallest in the squad, and the only Welling­ton player. She is a good blocker and hit­ter.

‘‘I want to rep­re­sent the whole of the Welling­ton re­gion.

‘‘I’m learn­ing new tech­niques and what to im­prove on.

‘‘I want the power to smash the ball, and beat the Aussies.’’

Camilla is grate­ful to Hous­ing New Zealand for a grant to buy train­ers, and to Porirua City Fit­ness for a spon­sored gym mem­ber­ship.

On the ball: Vol­ley­ball player Camilla Time Tau­tua, 15, would like to play for New Zealand at the Olympics one day, but her first step is to raise $3000 to take part in the New Zealand un­der17 test se­ries against Aus­tralia in July.

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