Memorial park in tribute to Dodzy

By Cherie Taylor of The Daily Post -
James Dodds dreamed of creating a skills park for riders to enjoy. Photo / Supplied
James Dodds dreamed of creating a skills park for riders to enjoy. Photo / Supplied

A park where mountain bike riders of all ages can learn on short tracks will be developed in memory of James Dodds.

Mr Dodds, affectionately known as Dodzy, was a keen Rotorua mountain biker, teacher, trail builder and bike builder who dreamed of creating a skills park for riders to enjoy.

He was killed while hunting near Waikite Valley with a friend in September. His hunting mate, Henry Worsp, 36, has pleaded guilty to causing Dodzy's death when he mistook him for a stag and shot him.

Dodzy's death left the Rotorua mountain biking community and his long-term partner Gabby Molloy in shock.

Ms Molloy has established the James Dodds Memorial Fund with the Geyserland Community Foundation with a view to developing a skills park for riders, leaving a legacy in Dodzy's name for riders to enjoy.

Ms Molloy said it was fitting to have such a place built in Dodzy's memory as he was a keen rider and teacher who was determined to pass on skills to younger riders.

His death had left deep scars in the mountain biking community, especially in Rotorua, she said.

The Rotorua Mountain Biking Club will build the park in the Whakarewarewa Forest between Nursery Rd and the fence line bordering the Scion carpark.

Scion has confirmed the club is leasing the land for a peppercorn rental. Dodzy often dreamed of creating such parks around the region where riders of all ages, especially children, could ride a range of short mountain biking tracks they could negotiate and learn on, Ms Molloy said.

"We just want a lasting memorial to the great man that Dodzy was ... He was a very passionate man ... a Dodzy-style mountain biking skills park had long been a dream of his."

It would be a place where people could "play and relax in a beautiful setting" and be a permanent legacy to the mountain biking community.

"We really wanted to do something in Dodzy's memory that he would be proud of and honour his incredible capacity for making projects happen. You know that Dodzy would think this was the coolest thing out, so, in his words ... 'Get behind it cause it'll be so sik. Yeah boy'."

Rotorua Mountain Biking Club president Gregg Brown said the skills park would have obstacle courses at different levels to help riders of all ages improve their cycling skills.

"It was a natural fit."

He was sure it would be well utilised by the mountain biking community and visitors.

"People will love it. They will swarm to it," he said.

The endowment fund would allow the trails to be maintained and in the future the club hoped to build similar parks around the Bay of Plenty. "He often dreamed of this," Ms Molloy said.

If you would like to donate to Dodzy's endowment fund, donations can be made by credit card here or contact them directly (07) 349 7496.

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