Two Hearty Naati boys gain invitation to play polo in England
Two cousins from a small East Coast town are on the cusp of competing in a sport that's usually the bastion of upper classes of society.
Such is the potential; they've been invited to play in a tournament in England.
Wirihana Kururangi says they’re walking their own way to get to their dreams.
“All I've ever wanted eh so now I'm living the dream that I've wanted to live.”
And his cousin Waitakeo Banks feels the same way.
“I really want to make something out of this.”
They both grew up staunch Naati's in Tokomaru Bay.
So it was up to Harriet Kuru to teach them horse riding, and how to play polo as well.
“Since Wirihana and Waitakeo have been here with Opiango they know that there is a better life out there and that they have to work to get that.”
The two cousins were duly invited by Hurtwood Park Polo Club in England for an upcoming competition.
Kururangi says it’ll be a great opportunity to get better at polo.
“So I'm trying to push to better myself at polo, so in order to do that, got to go and play all year round and England's that way of doing it.”
The biggest barrier facing the two is funding as it will cost over $10,000 for each boy for travel and accommodation for the event.
Kuru is finding ways around this, get them over there and that she’s proud of them.
“I have this operation this year on a shoestring budget which it has been a shoestring budget and it's been a real struggle, for me, myself and my own family to keep these boys going. I'm proud of them every day, these two boys. Some people say to me 'why do you do it because you don't get any financial backing so why are you still in the game? For me it's about seeing these boys progress and getting a better life for themselves that's what I get out of this.”
The polo competition starts next month.