Trials Torque Articles
The Leader - June 2006
|Three generations of the Oliver family|
Japanese TV to film trial bike family (by Phil Barnes)
A Japanese television crew arrives next month to make a documentary on the motorcycle trial riding exploits of three generations of the Oliver family of Atawhai.
Motorsport journalist Yasuo Manzawa will arrive with a two-person film crew to make the documentary for Japan's TVI channel.
Stephen Oliver, a five-time NZ trials champion, and the man behind the NonStop Trials Park in 88 Valley, told the Leader while the documentary will focus on the family, it will also include aspects of the scenery, art and products of the Nelson region.
Mr Oliver first met Mr Manzawa in the early 1980's. The pair re-established contact last year and he invited Mr Manzawa to the opening of the trials park. He says Mr Manzawa was impressed with what was happening in Nelson in terms of trials riding and took plenty of film footage last year.
Mr Oliver says the concept of the family is still important in Japan so this year Mr Manzawa was keen to make a documentary on how trials riding in the Oliver family had started with Stephen Oliver's 68-year-old father, Allan, continued with his sons Stephen, 45, Grant, 44, and David, 42, and was now being followed with Stephen's sons Nick, 17, Andrew, 19, and Pete, 14.
As well as making the documentary, Mr Manzawa has invited eight members of the Oliver family to an all-expenses paid trip to Japan at the end of August to take part in the 30th Anniversary of the Idemitsu Ihatove Trial.
The eighth member is Mr Oliver's wife, Deborah, who also rides socially.
Mr Oliver says trial riding is very popular in Japan.
The Ihatove Trial attracts 600 competitors which makes it the biggest trials event in the world. He says one reason trials riding is popular is because it is not noisy like motorcross. "It's a quite sport and environmentally friendly and that's why it's so popular with the Japanese."
Meanwhile, a year down the track, Mr Oliver says his 88 Valley trials park is developing well. "We have had some high performance squads training out there."
The family members have just competed in the 60th three-day trial held every year in Kaikoura. More than 100 entrants ranging in age from 10 to 75 took part.
Peter Oliver, 14, came second in the adult intermediate grade with elder brother, Andrew, 19, finishing third.
The expert grade attracted riders from throughout NZ. Nicholas Oliver came fifth and Stephen second.
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