New Zealand could be among the fancied teams at the Motocross of Nations in France next month and it’s all thanks to generous support from New Zealand benefactors.
The three-man squad of riders – Bay of Plenty trio Cody Cooper, Ben Townley and Kayne Lamont – head to the north-west of France for this 69th big annual “Olympic Games of motocross” on September 26-27 safe in the knowledge that they have nothing more to worry about than twisting their throttles.
With massive backing from Aucklanders Phil and Cheryl London (pictured here), of WIL Sport Management, and Darryl Blom, of Workshop Graphics, and with team co-managers Howard Lilly and Neil Ritchie to take care of the logistics, the Kiwi riders can fully concentrate on the business of racing at the Motocross of Nations (MXoN).
On many occasions in the past, New Zealand’s MXoN team has featured near the forefront at this most auspicious of annual events, with a Kiwi trio on the podium on three separate occasions – in England in 1998, in Belgium in 2001 in England again in 2006.
With backing from WIL Sport Management and Workshop Graphics and work behind the scenes from the sport’s governing body here, Motorcycling New Zealand, it is hoped Team NZ can again achieve well at this ultimate level of the sport.
WIL Sport Management assists amateur and professional athletes to succeed, primarily in minority sports, at a local, national and even international level.
WIL Sport sources sponsorship where necessary and provides financial, promotional, mentoring and other services that allow the athlete to focus on training and winning.
Blom’s Workshop Graphics company is similarly proactive.
Workshop Graphics is an Auckland-based graphics design and print company, specialising in creating graphics kits for motocross bikes, and it has become a leading supplier for dirt bike graphics to shops, teams and individuals.
Workshop Graphics strives to constantly deliver brilliant designs, faster turnarounds and works to ensure customers receive the best product, designs and service.
“I am thrilled to be able to support such a massive undertaking as the MXoN,” said Workshop Graphics owner Blom.
“I am very proud and excited to be a part of it.”
The London couple’s company, WIL Sport, is already well renowned for giving its support to Kiwi athletes overseas and is currently sponsoring Orewa’s Avalon Biddle, who is competing in World Superbike Championships’ European Junior Cup – and she is leading European Women’s Championship section of that.
WIL Sport also supports Christchurch’s Alastair Hoogenboezem in his ride for the Agro On Wil Sport Stock 600 team in World Superbike Championships; they support Taupo’s Roman Rajek to race the British Superbike Championships next month; they will be helping Connor London in his Suzuki 600 Supersport campaign in the upcoming New Zealand Suzuki Series and superbike nationals; they support British rider Josh Harland until the of his season in the European Junior Cup, along with Spain’s Augusto Fernandez, Britain’s Kyle Smith and Italy’s Kevin Manfredi.
WIL Sport assists Mangakino’s Lamont with his motocross racing in the United Kingdom and help west Auckland’s Toailoa Isara, who is about to start his college career of NFL in Los Angeles, along with supporting 15-year-old Green Bay High School martial artist Ben Spears in training in Thailand for the Muaythai World Champs in two weeks.
WIL Sport is extending its WIL Sport JETS Sporting Scholarship programme with Green Bay High school through until 2017 and continues to sponsor the championship-winning Western Magpies Women’s Softball team.
This is a truly remarkable list of promising sports people and WIL Sport’s support now for the New Zealand MXoN team, alongside the assistance offered by Workshop Graphics and Motorcycling New Zealand, caps it all off and sets up the squad for reasonable crack at the MXoN next month.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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