Fri, Apr 8, 2022 12:14 PM

Young athlete’s big win


Matt Brown

The harder you work, the luckier you get, and one young athlete’s luck has just paid dividends.

Triathlete Neve McKenzie won a brand-new Suzuki Swift after being randomly selected from a pool of triathlon competitors.

And despite not having her license, she says the new car is a perfect trophy for a successful season.

“I’m really happy, it’s not often you win a car,” Neve says.

Her new car was revealed in a Facebook livestream where Triathlon New Zealand bosses asked the seven finalists, each of which randomly selected during a triathlon over the past season, to check their letterboxes for what was thought to be a toy car.

Following a short run down her rural driveway, Neve was blown away to see a new 2022 Suzuki Swift gifted by Triathlon New Zealand’s major sponsor, worth more than $20,000.

“I was yelling last night the whole time,” Neve says.

The big win follows a recent triathlon win. Competing at the Tri Taranaki Festive, Neve beat a pack of about 40 young women in her under-14 triathlon event at the end of March.

The 13-year-old Marlborough Girls’ College student blitzed the competition by more than a minute in the 300m swim, 10km bike ride and 3km run.

While not legally allowed to drive the car until she’s 16, Neve says she’s keen to keep the new car.

Neve with a stand-in Suzuki Swift until her brand new car arrives. Photo: Matt Brown.

“I’ve had a really good season. Lots of events have been cancelled so I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to compete – it’s [the car] really topped off my season,” says Neve.

Her Swift, which is blue, is yet to arrive. But Neve’s mum, Rebecca Scherp, says the Motorworld team were kind enough to bring out their demo Swift.

“The car is just topping off the triathlon win – it’s my new trophy,” says Neve.

“It was really cool to be able to win it.”

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