Wednesday, 17 September 2003 - 8:33am |

Trolley derby needs cash to get the wheels turning

2 min read

It’s all go for Hamilton police’s Blue Light trolley derby this year, but a lack of sponsorship may bring on an attack of the speed wobbles.

Last year’s inaugural trolley derby was held on Grantham St, central Hamilton in November and attracted over 130 entrants, ranging from toddlers through to business houses. The response overwhelmed organisers and the day was a huge success, attracting thousands of spectators.

This year, the trolley derby will be held on Sunday 9 November on Grantham St. Head of Hamilton police’s youth aid section, Sergeant Lance Tebbutt, is expecting a similar if not bigger response this year, but its success is in doubt due to a lack of financial backing.

Last year, the derby cost $18,000 to run. Major costs included advertising, promotional material, starting ramps, children’s activities like a bouncy castle and clowns and several food stalls.

Mr Tebbutt said the event was hugely successful last year, but it depended entirely on sponsorship to cover costs. This year, sponsors have been even harder to find. The Blue Light organisation is a non-profit community-based programme that aims to foster better relations between young people and the police.

The derby has seven age-group categories ranging from under-5s to 16-plus. There is also a commercial section for business houses. Last year 20 trolleys entered in that category.

Mr Tebbutt said potential entrants should be thinking about their trolleys now. &#34There is a lot of work involved in some of them, and we are advising people not to leave things too late. But the derby is unique in that it covers a huge cross-section of people and trolleys, ranging from a simple backyard box cart to a state-of-the-art high-tech job.

&#34It doesn’t matter what your trolley is like or how flash it is - when it comes down to it, the aim of the day is for everyone to have fun.&#34

Entry forms for the derby will be available shortly. Entry fees are $10 for children and $50 for businesses.

If any business is interested in providing either full or part-sponsorship, including naming rights, they should ring Mr Tebbutt at the Hamilton central police station, phone 8349480.