Kaikohe is gearing up to welcome home Northland's newest world champions with next Friday earmarked for a parade and welcoming ceremony.

Earlier this week Chris Huriwai, 21, of Otaua, near Kaikohe, retained his world street unicycling title at Unicon 2012 in Italy, while Sam LaHood of Dargaville won the world women's title despite only turning 16 during the championships.

Thirteen-year-old Samuel Tzikoucos of Kaikohe was third in the world in his age group.

The trio are due home early next week with the parade scheduled to start at 11.30am on Friday.


The route will follow Broadway from the Mangakahia Rd intersection, turn left into Station Rd and then left into Memorial Ave, finishing at the Memorial Hall. The road will be closed to traffic during the parade.

The trio will then be welcomed to the Memorial Hall to receive accolades from school children and Far North dignitaries.

Among those invited are kaumatua, Far North Mayor Wayne Brown, MPs Mike Sabin and Hone Harawira, and Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau.

All schools where Chris taught unicycling for the past two years have been invited, with Ohaeawai, Tautoro, Kaikohe East and Kaikohe Christian schools confirmed as of yesterday.

One of the parade organisers, Kaikohe Christian School pastor Mike Shaw, compared the young unicyclists' achievement to that of Kaikohe cycling star Laurie Byers in the 1960s.

He was proud of Samuel, a pupil at the school, and gave thanks to God and everyone who had helped him get to the championships.

"It was a heart-warming community effort to get him over to Italy with church, school and the wider community getting right in behind the fundraising and support," Mr Shaw said.

"He's done us all proud, along with Christian Huriwai and Sam LaHood.


"They are up there now with local legendary cycling hero Laurie Byers putting Kaikohe on the international stage."

Mr Byers, who later became a Far North District councillor, won the bronze medal in the men's cycling road race at the 1962 and 1966 Commonwealth Games.

He also competed in the 1964 Olympics.

More than 1800 unicyclists from 35 countries competed at Unicon 2012. The three Northlanders - every one of whom came home with a medal - were part of an eight-strong Kiwi contingent.

The next world champs will be in Montreal, Canada, in 2014.