Helen Cameron has rallied, sat in the co-driver's seat and thrown lollies out the window all in the name of MotorSport New Zealand through the past 35 years.

Her lengthy contribution to the sport was recognised recently when she was awarded a Distinguished Service Award by MotorSport New Zealand.

Helen, who is well-known as the lolly lady in rallying circles, says she was "gobsmacked but also humbled," to receive the award during the Motorsport New Zealand Awards Dinner where her name was also inscribed on the MotorSport New Zealand Honours Roll.

"It's quite nice among my peers to be recognised but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. I just love the people as well as all the excitement that comes with rallying.


There aren't many sports where a husband and wife can compete together."

Helen had been helping hand out awards at the evening when she was told to sit down because there was going to be a short break.

"They told me to sit down and then my name was read out. I was dumbstruck."

After receiving her award, Helen was back helping hand the rest of the awards out which were awarded for a range of achievements during the season.

Helen has had many roles during her time through the years, from filling official roles to helping husband Mike when holding rally license exams, looking after new co-drivers at events and also joined the Volunteers Commission for MotorSport New Zealand in 2016.

One of her more fun roles is that of Lolly Lady. This started, she says, on a cold winters day in 2008 when she spotted a cold and sad looking official.

She retrieved a lolly from her car for the man, and says after that he had a smile "from ear to ear". She now hands out up to 15 bags of lollies a day at events.

As well as throwing them out the window to officials, Helen hands them out to St John staff, tow staff and drivers.


"Drivers don't like minties because they tend to create moments! They reckon I have shares with the dentist industry because there has been the odd filling removed.'"

Helen and Mike have had many accomplishments over the years and last season they came third overall in the Historic Class of the New Zealand Rally Championship in their bright yellow Mitsubishi LIL EVO.

Helen joined the South Taranaki Car Club in 1983 and has been the secretary and treasurer of the club since 2005 and was made a life member in 2009.

She has been a Competitor Relations Officer since 2011 and a Stage Finish Post Chief for the Silver Fern Rally since 2012. She has rallied with her husband Mike since 1985 and competed as a driver — finishing the 1990 Taumaranui Rally and also named the Central Region women's Rally Sprint Champ in 1991.

She is looking forward to being back in the co drivers seat soon and continuing her involvement with the sport.

"I will keep being involved while my input is still positive."