The Taranaki indoor U23's mixed team has been fundraising since November to get the National Indoor Netball Competition in Wellington, aside from aiming to beat the best in their sport, they will be shooting for their ex-team-mate recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
A long way from home, staunch Taranaki athletes are gunning for the win.
AJ Hoskin says, “This is my fourth year playing, I really enjoy it, it’s quite fun, I normally play bball but I’d rather play netball than basketball."
Tamara Kahui says, “So we have under 23's, a women’s team and over 30's but we've been fundraising since November, it has cost a lot but it’s worth it and we get to play some intense netball.”
83 teams have turned out to this year's competition.
With such tough competition in the mixed grade, there's a no holds bar attitude, whether you're a male or female.
Hoskins says, “It’s quite hard, especially the women, the women are quite athletic, and guys too, guys can jump up to the ceilings its crazy."
Kahui says, “It’s very physical, very physical. The guys are just as physical but the girls are just as bad, but it gives the girls more mongrel if you want to stand up for themselves.”
Tamara Kahui says they've fundraised thousands for this trip, and although the big goal is to come out as champions, they have another reason for getting on court.
“We’re here today or this weekend for Elise. She has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and she normally comes down with us,” says Kahui.
The competition will continue for the weekend with finals to be held on Sunday.