Wheelchair sport is taking a new step on Thursday with wheelchair turbo touch kicking off for the first time ever. To celebrate, an exhibition match between a celebrity team and the Turbo Flyers will be held. Te Kāea caught up with 17-year-old Kauri Murray who is ready to go up against some of the country's top athletes.
Work until your idols become your rivals. Murray says, "I am trying to get everything out of the way so it gets that stress off my chest before I can play any of these sports."
On Thursday, Touch NZ will launch their first ever wheelchair turbo touch season. Kauri is prepping to beat big names such as Michael Jones, DJ Forbes, Tevita Li and Tyla Nathan-Wong.
Sandra Hickey says, "They will trounce them they absolutely will/once we get able body people into those chairs who are top sports people they are really gonna struggle which will be great."
This humble Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi descendant is also quietly confident. Murray says, "With the sport, there is not much use of the legs, we don't use our arms allot so that's where we will have an advantage over the celebrities."
Murray's background is in wheelchair basketball but his manager says he'll do well in whatever sport he chooses.
Hickey says, "He is an incredible player, a real role model to young people with a disability, a very proud young Māori/Tongan boy who we are immensely proud of who will play for New Zealand one day."
The celebrity match will kick off at 7pm on Thursday in Auckland.