Billy carts roll into Dampier

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

A tra­di­tion is set to start in Dampier this week­end with the in­au­gu­ral Dampier Billy Cart Derby.

The race will be held on Satur­day in the day­time, be­fore Dampier’s an­nual Guy Fawkes Night Fire­works at the Hamp­ton Har­bour Boat and Sail­ing Club starts at 5pm.

After weeks spent build­ing their carts, com­peti­tors will put them to the test rac­ing down a track along Church Street and past the Palms.

The event is be­ing run by the Dampier Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion but was thought up by lo­cal fam­ily the Arm­strongs.

DCA Billy Cart Derby sub­com­mit­tee mem­ber Ali­son Arm­strong said she and her hus­band had come up with the idea for a Dampier race about a year ago while talk­ing about the an­nual tra­di­tion of bil­ly­cart der­bies in their child­hoods and re­al­is­ing how much it would suit lo­cal chil­dren.

“It give the kids an ex­pe­ri­ence in some­thing that we grew up do­ing,” she said.

“And it fits with Dampier — Dampier’s got a lovely fam­ily feel to it, and we al­ways think out here we’re liv­ing out our child­hoods.”

The fam­ily had not known about the pop­u­lar Mar­ble Bar Billy Cart Race at the time, but they went to this year’s to see a Pil­bara billy cart race in ac­tion — and ul­ti­mately to watch their son Carter Arm­strong win the event.

Mrs Arm­strong said she hoped the race en­cour­aged chil­dren to step away from the com­puter and have fun out­doors while build­ing closer con­nec­tions with their fam­i­lies.

“That was one of our fo­cuses in do­ing this, be­ing able to go ‘look, we’ve got par­ents and kids mak­ing con­nec­tions, build­ing a project to­gether’,” she said.

“Be­ing in the re­sources sec­tor, as many peo­ple here are, there’s a lot of shift work and some­times it’s hard for dads and kids to spend time to­gether.”

“So this is an op­por­tu­nity . . . for the whole fam­ily to get to­gether and work on some­thing that is away from iPads and tech­nol­ogy and build­ing on those trade skills.”

About 50 peo­ple have reg­is­tered to race in four dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of par­ents and chil­dren un­der 6, ju­niors (six to nine-year-olds), in­ter­me­di­ates (10-15-year-olds), and se­niors (over-16s).

Mrs Arm­strong said the derby had re­ceived great sup­port from a long list of lo­cal com­pa­nies which had do­nated track ma­te­ri­als, labour and prize vouch­ers.

The Dampier Billy Cart Derby will run from 9am-4pm.

There will be time tri­als for each con­tes­tant be­fore heats, a semi­fi­nal, and a fi­nal.

Pic­ture: Kelly Bell

Swino com­petes in the Mar­ble Bar Billy Cart Race along the town’s main street. The slower carts could not com­pete with Yar­rie Sta­tion and Lime­stone Sta­tion. Carter Arm­strong won the event.

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