Tokoroa gets set to let cheese rolling begin
There are certain things that make no sense in this life and one of them is chasing a cheese down a hill.
That’s not to say it’s not a lot of fun though which is what competitors are sure to have during the annual Waikato Cheese Rolling and Trolley Derby in Tokoroa on Saturday, March 11.
Now in it’s fifth year, organiser Marcus Maydon said the event, which started at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, England around 400 years ago, is growing in popularity.
‘‘It just captures an interest and the focus is on fun,’’ he said.
Maydon, whose granddaughter won the Gloucester-based competition in 2005 and 2006, said he tries to stick to tradition as much as possible with the New Zealand competition.
‘‘The cheese is wrapped in muslin which protects it and it is 14 inches in diameter and four inches thick. We stick to that because it is the traditional size but the hill is not quite as steep,’’ he said.
He said there are events for the whole family on the day including drone demonstrations, a 90 metre long waterslide where users end up in a pond, Scottish dancing, egg tossing, caber tossing, and the infamous trolley derby.
Two years ago Maydon dislocated his shoulder in the derby when his trolley - a bath with wheels, travelling at 57km went two metres in the air, inverted and threw him out.
Despite that, he said injuries happened seldom during the event and St John was on hand to help if need be.
‘‘It’s only a gold coin donation to enter each event and for an event programme. We make it as cheap as possible so it’s a fun day for the whole family,’’ he said.
‘‘The person with the lucky programme number will also win an hour’s flight in an aeroplane from Tokoroa Airport and they can go wherever they want which is not bad for a dollar.’’
Maydon said it is all for a good cause, with proceeds going to different charities and community needs each year. This year the Westpac Rescue Helicopter is set to benefit.
‘‘In previous years we’ve raised money for a defibrillator for St John, over $2000 towards the tables and benches outside the chemist at the hospital, and last year we raised $2400 for St John itself,’’ he said.
The event kicks off at 1pm in Newells Rd beside the tip.
Marcus Maydon is behind the upcoming Waikato Cheese Rolling Championships being held in Tokoroa.