So­phie makes it ‘a lit­tle bit big in Ja­pan’

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY - RICHARD MAYS

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.

SUPPLIED

So­phie Irvine, 10, win­ner of the in­ter­na­tional Toy­ota Dream Car Art Con­test.

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