Van built for speed

Van Hazelden is hoping to win gold at the New Zealand Mini Motocross Nationals later this year and, based on his recent trophy haul, he’s in with a good chance.

Van Hazelden, photographed at Cambridge Middle School after winning five trophies in one weekend.

The Cambridge Middle School student got into motocross riding when he was about five, after watching school friends competing.

“It’s just the excitement and the adrenaline that makes it really fun…it just brings joy to my body,” he said.

Van’s father, Mark, described him as a “consistent rider”.

“He got second in the nationals in Christchurch last year, so he’s currently ranked number two in New Zealand in the 7-11 year-old trail class.”

Van, 11, won the 7-11 year-old 65cc and 7-11 year-old trail classes at the annual Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club Interschools Motocross competition near Matata recently, and clocked the fastest lap time on the mini track across all classes.

The next day he won the 7-11 year-old trail class on his Kawasaki KLX140 and came second in the 7-11 year-old 65cc class with his KTM65 at the 2024 King’s Cup event in Tokoroa.

His older brother Jack, 12, also added to the family trophy cabinet, finishing second overall at the Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club interschools competition in the 11-12 year-old 85cc class.

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