Hi my name is Kurtis, I am 16 years old and I am football crazy. I started kicking a ball as soon as I could sit up and have never stopped! I have been asked to attend the Wellington Phoenix Academy in January 2018!
My ultimate dream is to represent New Zealand one day and I believe that I have just made my very first step towards this goal by being one of the youngest players to train with the current New Zealand Under 17 World Cup squad.
At the age of 9, I emigrated from England to New Zealand and have played for Hibiscus Coast AFC since then. Last year I played in the ‘Men’s First Team’, making club history by being the youngest player to ever play a season in this team. I was also awarded the ‘Male Youth Player of the Year’.
I have represented my club in tournaments in Christchurch, Auckland and Australia. I have attended the New Zealand Football Talent Centre residential training weeks in the April and October school holidays ever since I was 11 years old. I was also selected for the national tournament team in October 2016.
I am also passionate about my education and have recently graduated from Orewa College Middle School with a high merit. I work extremely hard to manage my school and football workloads to ensure that I can always be the best I can be.
I have been asked to attend the Wellington Phoenix Academy starting in January 2018. To assist with some of the costs that come with this incredible opportunity, I have been offered a scholarship to cover coaching fees. I am extremely grateful for this, however this will only cover my coaching fees and taking part in this academy means that I will need to move to Wellington in order to attend. My family are not able to move to Wellington with me at this time so I will have to raise the funds to cover my living cost. If I am able to raise $5,000 this will cover 50% of my living cost in Wellington.
This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to train with the only professional football club in New Zealand. This opportunity would give me the best level of coaching and development that is available. I would put my heart and soul into my time spent there.
The cost of living in Wellington will be much greater than my previous football fees and requires a lot of hard work and fundraising in order for me to be able to accept the invitation.