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Riley’s soccer dream come true with Hyundai

21 June, 2006

Riley’s dream come true with Hyundai FIFA World Cup win

The winner of the Hyundai Sports Tonight FIFA World Cup prize, Riley Kelliher shows off his soccer skills.

The soccer dream of a lifetime has come true for Wellington 10 year old Riley Kelliher.

He has won the chance for him and his mother, Tracy Verrenkamp to fly to Europe for the semi final and final games of the FIFA World Cup, thanks to Hyundai Automotive New Zealand and his own raw talent.

Hyundai, a major sponsor of the FIFA World Cup gave the opportunity for Kiwis to win seats at the World Cup semi-final and finals in Berlin and Munich.

To get there contestants had to make a video explaining why they should win the trip. Once selected they then had to score a “goal” through the back door of a Hyundai Santa Fe on Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour during a live broadcast of Hyundai Sports Tonight on TV3.

“Basically, Riley is soccer mad, it is some genetic thing he has I think, and he made a video showing just how soccer crazy he is,” said his mother Tracey.

The video included shots of Riley juggling a soccer ball on his knees while he brushed his teeth, heading the ball and rolling it off his shoulders and, most convincingly, in bed hugging his soccer ball with his boots still on.

“Riley has absolutely loved soccer ever since he was a small boy, and plays it all year round. When he was small he was so good he got kicked out of nursery soccer for getting so many goals!”

His talent has earned him and his Mum a trip to the other side of the world, something Tracey said had not really sunk in yet.

“I never dreamed I would be able to take him to the FIFA World Cup, and we are only just able to believe it now we have received the itinerary,” she said.

Riley had not been overly nervous about scoring the goal on national television, but was very keen not to miss it, having got that far, said his mother.

“He felt everyone there was right behind him and really wants to thank them all. I think he deserved to get that far, given he had 66 percent of the vote for best video,” said Tracey.

The trip includes Business Class tickets to Europe, quality hotel accommodation for 10 days throughout the semi-finals and final, and tours of Munich and Berlin.

Hyundai Automotive Group has recently signed with FIFA to become one of six elite Official FIFA Partners from 2007 to 2014.

“This ensures Hyundai can share the values, commitment and vision for promoting and developing the game of football on a global basis,” said Hyundai New Zealand Managing Director, Philip Eustace.


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