Sophie makes it ‘a little bit big in Japan’
Sophie Irvine from Palmerston North has been whisked off on a six-day all-expenses paid trip to Japan with her parents.
The 10-year-old from Russell Street School got to ‘‘shout’’ her parents Cindy and Simon Irvine to Japan after winning the New Zealand section of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.
Entitled ‘‘Bee-Car Seed Library’’, Sophie’s winning artwork showed a vehicle that collects and sprinkles seeds worldwide to promote more plant growth, as well as funnelling seeds to a library for future use.
‘‘I am so excited to be off to Japan,’’ Sophie said. ‘‘I have learnt an introduction speech in Japanese that I can share with my hosts.’’
As well as visiting Toyota facilities in Nagoya, Sophie’s trip included sightseeing in Tokyo and and an excursion to Tokyo Disneyland.
‘‘I can’t wait to get to go sightseeing in Tokyo and maybe eat at a bunny or owl cafe,’’ Sophie said.
The themed live animal cafes allow customers to feed and interact with rabbits, and have close encounters with owls.
Sophie had entered the 8 to 11-year-old section of the competition, which also catered for under 8-year-olds and 12 to 15-year-olds.
The entries were judged by Toyota NZ executives, guided by Te Manawa Museum’s Andy Lowe, on three key elements – the message, uniqueness and artistry.
Toyota New Zealand’s general marketing manager Andrew Davis said Sophie’s work showed vivid imagination.
‘‘I loved Sophie’s colourful interpretation of the theme and the bee’s ‘learner’ plate. She really thought outside the box,’’ Davis said.
‘‘When kids have a chance to imagine the future and improve the world their children will live in, there are no boundaries.’’
Morgan Dilks from Toyota New Zealand in Palmerston North said Sophie was the first Kiwi winner of the competition, which has been running for 11 years worldwide, but only for the past three in New Zealand.
Entries were accepted between November 2016 and February this year, and Dilks said it attracted hundreds of New Zealand children, adding to the total of more than 830,000 children from 79 countries who entered their national competitions.
Only winners from nine of those countries were selected for the Japan trip.
Sophie Irvine, 10, winner of the international Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.