Kiwis aim for history at World Champs of unheard-of sport in NZ

Source: 1News

Beach handball is a sport many in Aotearoa may never have heard of but globally it's taking off - and it may do the same here in New Zealand soon too.

It's a sport best described as like water polo without water or football with your hands but essentially, it's about scoring the most goals and looking flashy doing it.

"Where it differs from most sports is you get rewarded for doing spectacular moves," New Zealand representative Cameron Ross told 1News.

"You get two points for those which adds a different element to the game and at the end if you have more points than the opposition, you win!"

The New Zealand men's side has a chance to make history in Greece at next month's world champs after earning a spot in the event with plenty of hard work, determination and the odd two-point goal here and there.

It won't be an easy campaign though, teammate Peter Ellis said.

"We have the current world champs Brazil in our pool," he said.

"We know their faces, know their names - they're the All Blacks of the beach handball world and to be able to go up against them, it's a massively exciting prospect."

That thought has seen them train upwards of 12 hours a week while they also fundraised $12,000 each to go.

"We had a Greek fundraising night to show everyone the culture and link it back to where we going," team manager Willy Silcock said.

"It's a very big sport in Europe so when we go over people are actually quite intrigued that we go and pay our own way rather than getting paid to play the sport."

But now that they're on their way, they're ready to make a scene.

"There's always that Disney miracle, isn't there," Ross said.