Two young North Otago squash champions will soon represent New Zealand at tournaments in North America.
Keidah Bungard (18) and Connor Bolitho (17) will travel with the New Zealand junior team to compete at the Canadian Junior Open in Toronto, and the US Junior Open in Boston.
Bungard said it was hard to believe the tournaments were only days away.
“It’s pretty surreal – it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that’s for sure,” he said
“I’m not actually too sure what to expect.
” I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Bolitho said he was both excited and shocked when he found out he would be going overseas.
“It should be a good experience, just going overseas and seeing how good everyone else is,” he said.
Bolitho’s father, Mark, feels “hugely” proud his son will be representing New Zealand.
“Credit to him – he’s put the effort in, especially this year. Him and Keidah train pretty much every day.”
In the months leading up to the tournaments, both boys had trained extensively alongside each other.
It will be Bolitho’s first time competing at an international level, but it will be a second crack for Bungard, who represented New Zealand in an Australian tournament earlier this year.
It was the social aspect that Bolitho enjoyed most about the sport.
‘You go away to tournaments and you meet new people,” he said.
He said squash was a sport he planned to continue playing for years to come.
“If I get good enough at it, I want to try to travel the world with it,” he said.