Young wrestlers representing their country next month, from left: Matthew Oxenham, Brahm Richards, and Winson Koh
Three West Auckland school kids are about to wrestle athletes from around the world.
Brahm Richards, Matthew Oxenham, and Winson Koh have been selected to represent New Zealand at an international Olympic wrestling tournament from July 3 to 4.
The 17th Annual Down Under Wrestling Meet will see 200 wrestlers aged between 16 and 20 from New Zealand, Australia, American Samoa and the United States compete at the North Shore Events Centre.
Oxenham and Richards attend Rutherford College and Koh is from Kelston Boys High School.
All three are New Zealand secondary school national title holders in their different weight classes.
Oxenham says he is excited and honoured to represent his country.
"I'm keen to see how I stack up with wrestlers from all over the world," he says.
"It's kind of nerve-racking right now just thinking about it but I'm sure once I'm wrestling I will feel more at ease."
Oxenham says he likes wrestling as how well he does is up to the work that he puts in "and that helps motivate me to work harder".
The competition is put on by International Sports Specialists Inc in partnership with Olympic Wrestling NZ.
New Zealand Secondary Schools Olympic Wrestling Association chairman Darcy Dunlop says the Down Under competition is a chance for Kiwi wrestlers to match up against world class opposition, including champions from different American states.
This is the third time the biggest international wrestling competition in the Oceania region has been held in New Zealand.
"It's going full-on the whole weekend."
All the athletes have been individually selected to represent their country and will compete over two days on five mats, from 8am till 2pm .
The public can purchase a two-day pass for $5 or a family pass for $10 at the door.