From cars to mountain bikes and back again

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01 Aug 2016

Automotive student Caleb Burgess had the ride of a lifetime when he was called up to represent New Zealand in a European Downhill Mountain Bike Racing recently. With just four days warning for a five week tour, the pressure was on to prepare for competition.

Meanwhile Timaru campus Automotive tutor Mark Wheatley did his part behind the scenes making sure that Caleb would not fall behind in his training.


"Caleb received the call up just four days before he was due to fly out as a fellow team member had broken an arm. I put a plan for Caleb to be able to compete and still complete all the work for his automotive course.

"I taught Caleb last year so I knew he was capable of catching up on the work and I was determined to help him realise his two goals of completing his qualification for his career in automotive and following his sporting passion to compete in Europe," he said.

Growing up for many years at the bottom of Mt Hutt, with access to some top terrain, Caleb is a keen mountain biker and has competed in competitions such as the Gravity Canterbury Summer series, Downhill Southern Series and the national series where he was a consistent racer and earned an 8th place.

Caleb competed in Scotland, Austria and France and although he didn't qualify this time it has definitely whet his appetite for more competitive mountain biking.

He has previously studied with Canterbury Tertiary College (CTC) at Ara, which allows 15 to 19 year olds to remain enrolled at school but also get started on their career. Caleb completed his work experience with Methven Motor Services and is hoping to get an apprenticeship there when he qualifies in December. With a trade he will also be able to work overseas in the future. He has his sights set on Canada in the future.