NZ – Tararua Trolley Derby
Saturday 29th October 2016 started as a typical showery spring day. Thankfully the sun soon made an appearance, to make a perfect day for racing down the hill. Once again Tiraumea Road Hill was going to be a place of activity and a gathering point for those supporting and participating in the annual Tararua Trolley Derby. This event is to raise money for the St Johns Ambulance, Health Shuttle and Youth programs.
The local Lions and Rotary Clubs organized the event and the Pahiatua Rapid Relief Team provided a sausage sizzle for a gold coin donation and free water to those who came out to watch and participate in the event. RRT contacted the local supermarket who provided free sausages, bread, onions and plenty of tomato sauce – even providing options this year for those that are gluten free.
The Trolley participants raised money by getting local businesses to sponsor their carts – including one cart that was covered in cardboard from Paper Plus, and one trolley that looked like Percy from Thomas the Tank Engine (which smoked and tooted all the way down the hill but was the slowest in the race!) among the variety. The trolleys did a number of different races down the hill. One team did a trial run and in doing that realised the brakes had failed and were already out of the race! Another cart’s first run the wheel buckled so was the next one out of the race with mechanical failure! Altogether there were 24 carts entered to compete for the fastest time down Tirimea Rd hill.
Two local farmers voluntarily provided their time and quad bikes to tow the carts to the top of the hill. Two carts that were racing in the finals had a minor accident causing the last cart to take an unchallenged first place. Thankfully the services of St John’s were not needed as the drivers were wearing good quality helmets!
St Johns Health Shuttle is a free service for the community that transports people to Palmerston North for essential medical and health related appointments that people wouldn’t normally be able to transport themselves for, and brings them home again. The St Johns ambulance has to do with approx. 400,000 people every year around New Zealand, whether it be treating them or transporting them. They have 600 operational vehicles, 205 stations and attend to 330,000 emergency incidents annually. St Johns youth programs also train New Zealanders in First Aid, Healthcare, Leadership and Life Skills.
The day was a great success raising over $350 from the sausage sizzle with 300 bottles of water being handed out to all involved. The organizers were pleased that it attracted a crowd of 200 plus people, which was double the entries and sponsorships of the previous year. The organisers hope to continue to grow the event with the help of RRT and community to support the worthy services that St Johns provide.