Date: Monday, 13 March 2017

Event Results

Waking up at 6.30am was well worth it for Hauroko Valley Primary School student Kenzie Martin.

Kenzie was one of six students from the school who travelled an hour to Invercargill to compete in the Top Bike competition at Sandy Point on Friday.

Living so far from Invercargill meant this was the first time she had been a part of a competition so big, she said.

"It's a big opportunity to get out to ride my bike."

Hauroko Valley Primary School principal Glenn Puna said the event was a good opportunity to let the kids out and test their speed on the track against other schools.

"There's not as many events available to us so we get them here as often as we can," he said.

More than 100 Southland students, from year 5 to 8, took part in the competition.

Events included a skills test, concrete and grass races and mountain biking through the bush.

Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton said it was good to see the event refreshed.

There was a high demand from Southland schools to bring it back after five years off, he said.

Cycling Southland development officer and events assistant Danielle Ralph said it was a big step to bring it back after a long time but the kids loved it."It's an excellent way to identify potential talent in the region."

The day was about creating a fun environment to teach students bike handling skills for the road and mountain biking, she said.

It pushed students to enhance their fitness and health while working as a team and having fun, she said.

Students from Limehills School, Otautau School, Knapdale School, St Teresa's School, Waihopai School, Makarewa School and Hauroko Valley Primary School teamed up in groups of six to represent their schools.

Cycling Southland events manager Bruce Ross said the day was about students representing their schools.

"It's a teams event, it's not about I and me," he said.

"It's really important [for the students] to ride as a team and not race off and leave anyone behind."

Points from each event will be tallied and the top three teams in each grade will represent Southland in a southern regional final against Central Otago later in the year.

The programme will also be held in Alexandra in April for students from schools including Wanaka and Cromwell to get their chance to learn new skills too, Ralph said.

CAPTION: Brooke Cornish,12, of Otautau School competing in the skills test to represent her school. Cycling Southland events manager Bruce Ross judged the event.

Photo and article courtesy Stuff

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