Marlborough Boys' College student Kurt Schollum, 18, has had the call up to the New Zealand mens' softball team, the Black Sox.
Schollum was in Nelson seeing a physio yesterday when he got a phone call to say he was to catch a flight to Auckland last night and Sydney this morning, his mother Deb Schollum of Wairau Valley said.
Former Marlborough Boys' College student Nick Hayes, who lives in Wellington, also got the call up and was flying with Schollum, Mrs Schollum said.
Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said Schollum and Hayes would be making their Black Sox debut during the tour, which involves tournaments in Canada and New York.
Schollum, who is also captain of the Marlborough Boys' First XV, captained the Marlborough Boys' College softball team to the national secondary school title earlier this year.
"They have been selected because they are good enough, but the intangibles are the things you cannot coach," Kohlhase said.
"Whenever a new athlete enters the Black Sox we expect them to bring enthusiasm, passion and excitement to the team."
Schollum was unlucky not to have made the junior Black Sox team that will compete at their world championship later this year, he said.
The two have joined the pitching staff which includes Tane Richardson, Penese Iosefo and Heinie Shannon.
The tour is the last international competition the Black Sox have before the team is announced in December for the world championships, at North Shore's Rosedale Park in March.
"We have a large group and all [of them] are very much in contention for selection," Kohlhase said.
The tour saw the return of Donny Hale and Nathan Nukunuku as well as former captain Jarrad Martin, who will be in a management role on this tour. Martin captained the team to a world championship title in Christchurch in 2004, and both Hale and Nukunuku were members of that winning team.
The team's first games are on Monday against clubs sides in Ontario, Canada, followed by games against club sides and Argentina during the week. The side will also compete in the Peligro Tournament in New York, from June 29 to July 1.
Mrs Schollum said Schollum dislocated his arm on May 8, but the physio said he had good strength back into it, and as it was his left arm, it should not affect the right-hander's pitching.
Mrs Schollum and husband Chris, and Schollum's big brothers Matt and Ryan were very proud of him, she said.
"He's put a lot of hard work into it and had a big disappointment this year by not making the juniors."
Asked what his reaction was to the call up, Mrs Schollum said: "Kurt is a man of very few words. He's excited but very nervous. He's going to a different part of the world that he's never been to and it's so far away from home, but it's very exciting for him.
"As we've said to him, the opportunity is huge. He's got his name out there in the mix with the big guns and should take every opportunity he gets."
His parents would follow him through text messages on the trip, as they were not signed up to Facebook, she said.
- The Marlborough Express