Age: 16
School: Hamilton Girls High School

Some kids are just born to play sport. They think about it constantly, they can’t sit still without exercise, they dream all day about getting onto the field and playing their heart out. The WaterBoy was so pleased to meet one of those kids in Dawn Hohua, but unfortunately without receiving some assistance soon, her sporting dreams may soon come to an end.


Dawn comes from a humble background. She grew up in the small town of Kawerau, pushing herself in her physical performance, but unfortunately the small town only offered netball for girls so she was unable to play rugby like she wanted. When she tried to sign up for a regional club rugby team she was denied entry (her family believes this was due to her outshining the team captain), so her supportive parents began spending a huge part of their limited income for her to play rugby in Whakatane.

The pattern continued. Dawn’s parents Thomas and Tanya have taken on the cost and stress of moving to new a region several times throughout Dawn’s childhood to support and encourage her dreams, finally ending up in Hamilton in 2017. As Thomas’s diabetes has gotten worse, he has had to stop working and Tanya has had to care for him, leaving them on a double beneficiary income and living in a motel. Despite their many setbacks Dawn’s parents remain fully committed to supporting Dawn, last year they went almost completely broke so Dawn could participate in rugby on two teams, rugby league on three teams, touch rugby on two teams, volleyball, basketball, netball and underwater hockey. This year however, mounting costs have forced Dawn to minimise her participation as the family scrambles for a way for pay for her fees. She has joined several teams, but is now out there looking for a way to pay for them. One of her coaches approached The WaterBoy for help with this.

Dawn Hohua is the exact kind of young person The WaterBoy was created to provide help for. She’s passionate about sport, highly driven, but due to circumstances outside of her control she is looking at a year ahead without any participation at all. In order for her to continue her growth into adulthood, she desperately needs some financial support and someone to believe in her.

Location: Hamilton
Sport: According to Dawn “everything with an oval ball”
Barrier: Financial, Transportation