Kyle Murphy has been dreaming of heading to the United States for university as an athlete.
Two year ago he set the goal and on Monday the long-jumper and triple-jumper’s dream became reality, he was accepted to Harvard University as a student-athlete.
The 18-year-old toured the US for two weeks during the school holidays, visiting Harvard, Columbia and Eastern Michigan universities on an all-expenses-paid trip.
‘‘It was the best opportunity that I have ever seen,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘They have a great track team, they have got great career opportunities as well and I think it was just the perfect fit for me. I’m stoked about the opportunity.’’
The former Wanganui Secondary College student is hoping to study a physics-related course at Harvard but said the opportunity would not have been possible without the support of his family, friends and school.
‘‘I am thankful for all the work they have done for me behind the scenes,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘If they hadn’t helped me along the way there would be no chance that I would be in the position today.’’
Instead of going through the traditional recruitment route to get selected by a college, Murphy initiated the conversation, reaching out to institutions rather than forking out for someone else to do the work behind the scenes.
‘‘When I first started looking at going there was a lot of recruitment companies that would find you a college but they were just too expensive,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘So I thought I would try and do it all myself and see what happened in the end and so far so good.’’
Murphy will spend four years at Harvard as an undergraduate while competing in track.
Before he departs in August, Murphy will focus on qualifying for the World Under-20 Championships.
‘‘I’ll have more time on my hands now to train with school finished; our next national competition is in March so it will be there when I try and reach my personal bests,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘Hopefully, they will be enough to get me to the World Championships.’’