Trolley racers set for derby

A much-loved father in the community will be remembered as part of a school trolley derby event.

Thirty-three racers have entered the inaugural Kaharoa School Trolley Derby which is set to take place on August 11 on Kaharoa Rd.

The trolley derby is in remembrance of a loved father, Mike Donnelly, whose son Luke Donnelly, 9, attends the school.

The derby will also help raise funds for Kaharoa School.

Kaharoa School principal Warwick Moyle said it was going to be a good day of racing.

"In planning events for this year I thought it would be great to have an event to honour pupil Luke Donnelly whose father Mike Donnelly sadly passed away two years ago," Mr Moyle said.

"Mike's love of all things with wheels planted the seed for this idea."

Mr Moyle said the event would also encourage parents in the community to spend time with their children building a kart.

"Each kart will have at least three runs down the track. The fastest karts will be in a final and the overall winner will be awarded the Mike Donnelly Memorial Trophy."

The event is being supported and organised by the Kaharoa School Parent Teacher Association, with a team of 10 parents running the event.

"Mike would have loved that the trolley derby was being held in his honour," Lisa Beamsley, Mike's partner, said.

"This will be a special day for us to honour Mike's memory. Family and friends far and wide will be coming. I know if Mike was here he would be madly working with Luke to make the fastest go-kart possible."

Luke will be first on the track.

Kaharoa Rd will be closed for the event, with the race track covering about 600m of the road.

Late entries are still open, with three spots left before the event is full. Racing categories include dragsters (5 to 10-year-olds), speedsters (11 to 17-year-olds) and racers (18 years and older).

Visit to enter; entry is $15 and safety specifications are required on each kart.

Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters has entered the race.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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