Mihaka Deaf Black
Mihaka Lemon from Kaikohe has been selected to represent the Deaf Blacks in England we are raising funds to help with trip related costs
Kaikohe man Mihaka Lemon has been selected to represent the Deaf Blacks in England.
The trip will see Mihaka play rugby for the New Zealand team for deaf and hearing impaired players for the first time.
Mihaka has been playing rugby for about 13 years, and this year played in the open men's competition for Kaikohe.
After playing for Northern Marlins Deaf Rugby at the annual Easter tournament with other regional teams, Mihaka was named in the New Zealand team.
Mihaka says he is excited to pull on the black jersey and wear the silver fern.
He will meet the Deaf Blacks squad in Auckland before flying to England on October 29, and will return to New Zealand on November 14.
"I'm a bit nervous and I was surprised to be selected," he says.
Mihaka, 29, was diagnosed at the age of one of being profoundly deaf and uses sign language to communicate with others.
He says he wants people to follow their dreams.
"I don't like negative things, I just like to be positive for people."
This is not the first time Mihaka has been selected in the New Zealand team, but two events - in 2005, and 2008 - were cancelled.
He says his goal is to have some big games for the Deaf Blacks in England, where they are scheduled to play four matches.
While in England he says he "wants to touch Big Ben and see the Queen".
Mihaka is also looking forward to performing the haka, and is proud to represent his Māori background.
He says he enjoyed playing a number of sports growing up and represented Okaihau College in basketball and for their first XV rugby team.
Mihaka says the deaf players use their hands to communicate with numbers, with one finger for example meaning go forward and two meaning go to the backline for a pass.
His mother Trish is very proud.
"You can be an All Black from Kaikohe, it's normal, but it isn't for the deaf or those with special needs.
"Mihaka's story shows they can follow their dreams."
Use of funds
Fund raised will be used for trip related costs which does include recommented sending money by New Zealand Rugby Union
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This page was created on 21 Sep 2017 and closed on 6 Oct 2017.