Six is the best for college team

For the first time, one team took home all the trophies in the Otago Southland Grass Kart Challenge.

The Northern Southland College team made a clean sweep of the six trophies in the challenge.

Twelve teams took part in the event, which was held on Saturday at the college.

The college’s workshop teacher Mike Dixon supervised the school’s entry.

No-one else had won all six trophies in the 16 years of the challenge, Mr Dixon said.

‘‘We’re pretty rapt with that result to be fair.’’

Winners take all . . .Northern Southland College workshop teacher Mike Dixon and pupils (back row left) Caleb Hellewell (17), Grace Naylor (16) (middle row left) Byron Pease (15) and Makenzie Appleyard-Drake (17) and Lachy Elder (16) in the driver’s seat have made a clean sweep of the Otago Southland Grass Kart Challenge trophies after this year event in Lumsden on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Unlike the other schools which completed the challenge of building a grass kart in class time, to earn NCEA credits, he ran the project like a club that pupils could opt into.

‘‘They come to me and they know that when they choose to do it, they’re going to do it after school and in weekends and in holidays.’’

Each student put in about 80 hours’ work to complete the project.

The pupils were good at following the rules of the competition, Mr Dixon said.

When he advised them that they would lose points if they followed a certain course of action, they listened.

‘‘They quite like winning … they very quickly work out how to do it.’’

The pupils deserved most of the credit for the win, he said.

‘‘I was there in the background but they made most of the decisions. I just guided them when they needed it.’’

Teams were judged on items that included the construction, appearance, record-keeping and performance of the kart.

There was also a trophy for the relay winner.

The college was the best performing school in the challenge, having won the event 10 times since its inception, and five out of the past six events.

The challenge was coordinated by Southern Group Training general manager Glenys McKenzie, of Invercargill.

It was an ‘‘awesome achievement’’, Mrs McKenzie said.

The challenge was established to get pupils interested in trade careers.

Hokonui Tertiary High School pupils who are based at the Southern Institute of Technology Gore campus also had a kart entered.

Tutor Craig Popham said his team did not go so well this year.

‘‘We haven’t finished a single race whereas in the last 10 years we’ve finished every race, got into the finals and won the finals quite often but this year is not our year for various reasons.

‘‘You take the good with the bad.’’