Dodgeball entrants at Winter Festival’s competition tomorrow (Friday) are encouraged to give their all as national team scouts will be watching.
Dodgeball New Zealand president Lee Terewi is bringing the World Dodgeball Championships to Queenstown in September, and he’s searching for talent.
Terewi says he’ll be at festival’s Speight’s Dodgeball Championship looking for males to fill spots in the NZ Black Falcons and females for the NZ Fantails.
“Next year we’ll be going to Hong Kong and the year after we’ll be going to LA so there’s plenty of opportunities for people, they just may not realise it,” he says.
Terewi admits the game, where players on two teams throw rubber balls at each other while avoiding being hit themselves, isn’t always taken seriously.
But he thinks he’ll be able to spot the athletes during the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, even if competitors are being playful.
“You can kind of see talent by just watching them, even if they’re mucking around,” he says.
Terewi says people sometimes laugh when they’re asked to join a team: “I just tell them I’ve been to America twice and they take me a bit more seriously.”
Terewi decided to try and push the sport in NZ after visiting the United States where he says the game is quite popular.
By setting up leagues around nationally and getting funding Terewi hopes to boost the sport.
“Once you have your first couple of games you get the bug,” he says.
Dodgeball is usually played in schools around the country but NZ doesn’t have tournaments like America, says Terewi.
“I’ve lived in Queenstown and I love the place so I thought I’d put Queenstown forward as a venue.”
The international championships, starting September 27 in Queenstown, will see NZ teams play against Hong Kong, the US, Canada, Malaysia and Australia, but Terewi says more sponsorship is needed.
Online registration is open for trials. Dates are not yet confirmed.