Twenty Cambridge High School students will embark on a whirlwind tour of the United States in July, spending just over a fortnight gaining invaluable experience in the game of basketball.
The students have been fundraising for the trip for the past 18 months, many getting afterschool jobs to help earn their keep. But one thing they’re hoping the local community can help with, is getting tour shirts and associated gear.
“Individual fundraising for the trip has been going well, they’re putting in the hard yards, but we’re looking for local businesses keen to support the tour,” explained CHS sports coordinator Tony Broadbent. “We’re looking for a range of sponsors, for things like tour shirts, bags, because it’s really cool to have everyone looking the same.
“Money’s tight and the exchange rate isn’t great…so if we could get some help from a local business… we’ll put their name and logo on our shirt… that’s really what we’re looking for.”
The band of 20 CHS students and six adults will touch down in San Francisco on July 3, heading to New Jersey four days later for an intensive six-day camp playing “all day, every day”, followed by four days in New York City and three days in Honolulu.
“It’s about that experience of going overseas with your friends, but also the basketball coaching that they’ll get from it,” Tony said. “Playing with Americans, when you’re over there, it just makes all the difference, they’re really into it, and they learn from that.”
While in New York, the Cambridge basketballers will hire a few outdoor courts to run a 3-on-3 competition in the middle of New York City. Then it’s on to Honolulu where they’ll play against a local school that Cambridge High schoolers have played against on past US trips.
“It’s basketball as we go, but it’s also really a sightseeing world trip for the students, some of these guys haven’t been out of the North Island, let alone in the US,” said Tony.
Student Desse Proebstel, who has never left New Zealand, said he’s most looking forward to “seeing what it’s like on the other side, experiencing new places and things in the world”. “I’m sure it will be a lot different to New Zealand,” he said.
Anybody interested in helping the team can contact Tony by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone the school on (07) 827 5415.