Schools challenge to be a highlight

Believed to be the first in Australia, a schools challenge race will be one of the highlights of this year’s annual Bangalow Billycart Derby.
Twelve schools from all over the local area have already entered the race and according to derby organiser Tony Heeson, students were busy building billycarts.
“A perpetual trophy will be presented to the winning school and there’s also prizemoney of $1000 for first and $500 for the runner-up,” he said.
The 15th annual derby will be held on Sunday (May 17) when Bangalow’s main street will be closed off to traffic and transformed into a race track.
“As long as the weather is good, we are expecting record crowds and record entries,” Mr Heeson said.
The day will start at 8.45 am with the ‘Blessing of the Carts’ followed by the junior heats.
There’s a category to suit everyone with boys and girls from five years of age through to opens.
Categories include traditional, home-grown, novelty, professional, tag team, a mother’s race and celebrity races.
At 12.30pm a grand parade will be held which will include representatives from community, sporting and other groups.
Mr Heeson said there had already been a fantastic response to the parade.
“In previous years we have had pipe bands, vintage cars and motor bikes, fire engines, samba bands, school kids, pony clubs, scouts and a few local heroes,” he said.
Local restaurants and cafes will offer food and the Bangalow Lions Club; Bangalow Public School and Bangalow Fire Brigade will also provide food and refreshments.
The Brunswick Valley Rescue Squad has volunteered its services to help with marshalling and safety control.
“Everyone is invited to participate in this award-winning, not-for-profit community event where all proceeds are distributed to local charities,” Mr Heeson said.
“Start building your cart now to promote your business or group, we want to see lots of new entries and innovations, but make sure it has safe brakes and steering.
“This event is really well covered by TV, radio and press, so you will be able to see your cart flying down the main street of Bangalow.” Mr Heeson said he also wanted to encourage schools to enter the challenge race as derby organisers were very keen to teach children all about road safety.
If you would like to be a volunteer on derby day, a meeting will be held on Saturday (May 16) at the Bangalow Bowling Club at 6pm. For more derby information go to

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