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The Nelson Mail - 23rd October 2006
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The Leader - June 2006
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The Nelson Mail - 28th November 2005
The Nelson Mail - 18th November 2005
The Leader - 9th June 2005

Trials Torque Articles

Kiwi Rider - October 2006


Trials Park Hosts NZ Hi-PO Squad (Words:staff Pics: Stephen Oliver)
Thanks to the endeavours of past multi-time New Zealand Champion Stephen Oliver and his Trials Park & Academy near Wakefield, Nelson has been chosen as the location for the training of New Zealand Trials' High Performance Squad.

The park is the first of its kind in New Zealand and long time local Oliver has put together a team of three top Trials riders - current NZ champ Warren Laugesen, Karl Clark and Steve Butler - to help with the development of the squad.

Warren, Nick & Karl
Warren, Nick & Karl

Oliver and his team have already run several High Performance coaching sessions at the Park & Academy and so far have left it open to young riders to express interest in joining the squad and be given the opportunity to take advantage of the coaching available.
The squad requires a high level of commitment and skill and a strong desire for self improvement in the sport and, as Oliver says, this can be a big ask in today's youth environment.

Peter with Warren
Peter with Warren

At present the team consists of three young Nelson riders, Oliver Biggs and brothers Nick and Peter Oliver, and two young North Islanders, Jake Whitaker and Luke March.
Olivers says that he is very happy with the results so far, with Nelson riders taking the New Zealand Junior Championship title for the past three years (2003, 04 and 05) and with a couple of Academy students looking good for the 2006 title, which will be contested in the Nelson region in conjunction with the New Zealand Trials Championship over Labour Weekend.

Rocky section
Rocky section

The Trials Park & Academy is something of a long-term labour of love for Oliver, wife Deborah and their sons, and it is not just there for the elite of the sport. The Park caters for all levels of riders wishing to improve and brush up their skills and to find out more all anyone has to do is go to their website which has information, news, photo galleries, even videos.
A by-product of the Park and Academy is interest from all over New Zealand and indeed the world in the Nelson region with one recent visitor, a film crew from Japan shooting for a documentary.

Interest from Japan, in fact, has helped Oliver organize a trip there with five other Trials riding members of his family, as guests of the Idemitsu Ihatove Trial to help the group celebrate the 30th Anniversay of its event.
The Trial regularly attracts up to 850 entries and it is part of Oliver's vision to help build a lasting relationship between the two countries which he believes will be beneficial for the sport in both countries.
To contact Stephen or Deborah about their Trials Park & Academy you can e-mail them at

General Enquiries to Stephen & Deborah Oliver
P O Box 752, Nelson, New Zealand
Tel: 64-3-545 1053
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