Fitting farewell for talented motocross teen

By Kiri Gillespie

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More than a dozen motocross bikes line the church where Tauranga teen Trent Haywood, 14, was farewelled at the weekend. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
More than a dozen motocross bikes line the church where Tauranga teen Trent Haywood, 14, was farewelled at the weekend. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Friends and family farewelled talented motocross rider Trent Haywood at Tauranga's Holy Trinity Church on Saturday.

The Tauranga Boys' College student died while competing in the Michael Godfrey MX Memorial in Omihi, near Waipara in north Canterbury on June 1. He was just 14 years old.

A line of motocross bikes were assembled outside the church during the service in tribute to the teen's passion for his chosen sport.

Trent Haywood.
Trent Haywood.

Family friend and race team manager Andrew Hardisty estimated about a thousand people attended the funeral.

More than a dozen motocross bikes were lined up outside and Trent's bright yellow custom designed coffin with Trent's racing number 323 printed on it was carried into the church.

"That was what kind of made it special. It was unique and special, and he was unique and special," Mr Hardisty said.

Mr Hardisty said the turn out was testament to Trent's impact on the Tauranga community.

"It just goes to show how cool he was and how well supported he was and the respect he had, not only in the community but from his friends and family too," Mr Hardisty said.

"This boy was so well liked to assemble a bunch of people ...it was so far reaching, which was just so amazing.

"There were so many different people from so many different areas in life.

"If we had half of that level of send off, we would be stoked. But he meant so much to so many people, you just had to be there."

Students from Tauranga Boys' College performed a haka at the end of the service.

" As much as it was an emotional send off for everyone,it was also a moment of celebration of Trent's life," he said.

"When you experience a funeral of that level, it makes you feel that cool that you could be part of that, part of something very special."

Mr Hardisty said he had known Trent since he was five years old but had only really begun to work with him closely in the past six months.

He said he would miss Trent's cheekiness.

"He used to have some real quirky mannerisms and come up with different words for things."

Police said Trent suffered head injuries when came off his bike on a 30m jump. Officers were unable to say what caused the crash and a health and safety investigation is ongoing.

Motorcycle NZ president Jim Tuckerman said in a previous article Trent was a very good rider with a lot of potential.

What happened was a classic example of a "racing incident".

"They are always possible, no matter how good you are. The reality is when you throw your leg over a bike you put yourself at risk . . . people put their lives at risk every day, just by getting out of bed. There is more risk walking across Cameron Rd at 8.30am than there is enjoying this sport"

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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