Houston Noema pursues his American Football dream

  • Auckland
Houston Noema set for America - Photo / file

In just four weeks time, 20-year-old Houston Noema (Cook Island Māori) will leave New Zealand for San Francisco where he will pursue his American Football dream. 

Earlier this year, he was nominated, along with one other player from New Zealand to play in the IFAF World Development squad in Dallas.  Since then he has been in contact with American coaches and has finally secured a position at the City College of San Francisco.

He says "It's quite exciting, it's a big change for me especially coming from where I'm from but I'm excited and I'm ready for it.  It's a big opportunity and I'm going to take it while it's open."

Since experiencing a taste of what football in America was like, Houston's desire to go back and make a career of the game he loves grew. 

"I'm going to go hard for the first year, get a D1 scholarship to any school and then from that study hard I want to do well at school as well but also the ultimate goal is to get to the NFL."

His success doesn't stop there.  Both he and his partner Elyse McKechnie co-own Future Fit, a business that specialises in personal training and nutrition.

She says the announcement on Houston's departure has left some clients both disappointed and saddened.  

"Now that he is leaving, it'll be me and his sister Kim that are going to take over, so we've got some big shoes to fill."

It hasn't exactly been easy for Noema and his family as they have had to raise a total of US$18,000 and more to go towards his business degree, accommodation and other expenses.

They have set up a Givealitle page where the public can make donations, big or small. 

If you would like to know more about Noema's journey and to make a donation, click here.