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Ollie Cotton – A Year 11 Student with a need for speed!!!

Rowan Milburn - Associate Principal —

Ollie Cotton races motor bikes - that's his thing! I caught up with him around his year so far, how he sees his future and some advice for students starting at Hagley in 2021.

Ollie competes nationally, as in across New Zealand, racing 150-250cc motor bikes. He explained to me that it is racing laps around a track when I inquired into what sort of motor bike racing he actually does.

How did it all start for Ollie? I think this would be similar to many teenagers in motor sport in that Ollie started by hanging around Ruapuna because his Dad raced motor bikes and he had seen his older brother get into it too. In fact, he first rode at Ruapuna as a ten year old. Needless to say, he was hooked! He loves the element of concentration, strategy and of course it always comes back to the thrill of speed.

The pinnacle of the year for Ollie was coming third across three races held between January and March in Supersport 150. It was meant to be a five race series but Covid-19 meant it was reduced to three. This is a fantastic achievement given it is at a national level.

Ollie sees himself being involved in motorsport in his future but thinks it is likely to remain as a hobby rather than a career at this stage. He doesn’t have a specific goal around what he would like to achieve in motorsport other than he wants to push himself to do the best that he can and then see where it takes him.

Practice looks like riding in club meets either at Ruapuna or Levels raceway in Timaru and the occasional Friday the track is open for laps. Fridays are difficult for Ollie as school takes priority.

Ollie looks up to his Dad as a role model and mentioned Al Hoogie, who Ollie describes as being an excellent role model to him both on and off the track.

Ollie joined us at the beginning of Year 10 when things weren’t working well for him at his previous school. He has had a brother and step brother at Hagley and they both spoke highly of the school which encouraged Ollie to pursue enrolling here. He has enjoyed the change and he enjoys how inclusive the school is. 2020 will see Ollie strive to achieve NCEA Level 1 as his main academic goal and he is working hard to achieve that.

For any prospective parents and students reading this, Ollie has two key pieces of advice for students that will start new at Hagley in 2021. The advice is, don’t be afraid to be yourself and take as many opportunities that you can.

With this great attitude and these awesome results, Hagley College will watch Ollie’s career with interest.