Dedicated cycle teen organises contest
A young Hamilton man has gone beyond the call of duty to bring an unexpected national sport competition to Hamilton this Labour Weekend.
At just 18, Jayden Baker is single-handedly organising NZ Uni Weekend, a national unicycle competition, and from his own pocket.
Mr Baker started unicycling at primary school in Te Kowhai when, after seeing a friend do it, thought it looked "a bit different" and picked it up in just a few hours.
Now he is taking on new challenges gaining permits, securing venues, organising registrations, and marketing the event.
"I put my hand up, because I love it a lot and I want it to happen and make sure it's done properly. I just don't want it to die. I want to get as many people as I can involved so it can grow. A lot of riders in Hamilton are growing up and moving on and going to uni and starting jobs. I can't find a job so I made this my job," said Mr Baker.
The three-day event will be held at the Nawton skate park and at Garden Place, and is open to all skill levels.
"We'll have a few learner unicycles there, too, so if people want to have a go, they can. It's pretty easy, and we'll be there to help, you just need to give it a try and not get too frustrated too quick. Anyone can do it," he said.
And it is a fairly safe sport, too. Mr Baker said he had broken bones in a lot of other sports but never in unicycling, with his worst injury being a rolled ankle.
Unicycles can cost from as little as $80 to as much as $6000, said Mr Baker, whose next unicycle looks likely to set him back $1000.
The current world unicycle champion, Christian Huriwai, will be at the event and the Labour Weekend timetable is as follows:
Saturday: street competition, high jump and long jump at the Nawton skate park.
Sunday: flatland competition and a "playaround" at Garden Place.
Monday: "Muni", or mountain unicycling.
For more information or to register, contact Jayden Baker at: email@example.com