The annual Tudor House Billy Cart Derby is a colourful event filled with fun and community spirit that spans generations.
Head of School, Ms Anni Sandwell said the all-day event is a way to bring the School community together in a relaxed atmosphere and showcase the handiwork of the students.
“There is a significant amount of thinking embedded into each billy cart,” she said.
“The Year 6 students design, plan, construct and modify their billy carts over several months with the assistance of our woodwork teacher, Mr Petrola,” she said.
All students, Pre K -6 participate in the Billy Cart Derby day, many spending countless hours with family and friends designing proto-type carts. Parents and siblings, particularly Old Tudorians, enjoy testing the carts too!
There is also an opportunity for students to re-design or re-badge their family billy carts and later pass their billy cart on to siblings.
“Our students either design and build their own billy carts or ask their Old Tudorian brothers to modify their billy carts with new or bright rainbow colours to suit modern tastes in colours,” she said.
Two main events capture the day – the Parade and the Circuit and Downhill races where students race their finished billy carts before taking to the track for the team races.
Year 5 student Archie McConnochie summed up the day with joy and also a practical approach.
“Sometimes our billy carts don’t make it round the circuit or down the RB Darke Hill. We modify our designs and come back the following year.”
“We build our billy carts with guidance. We test. We modify. And when we make it round the circuit or down the hill in teams. On the day we are beyond proud.”
“I had pressure put on me when I heard everyone in my team screaming at me to go harder. So I pushed harder and harder and harder until I got over the line. I felt really proud of myself but also a bit nauseous from pushing up that steep hill with our 500kg billy cart. Our team did a great job!” he said.
Year 5 student William Tout said the Derby was a great way to work together as a team with his friends.
“My team came first in the first circuit group and then Tyler’s group came first in the second group. We raced around the main drive in teams. It’s really important to work together otherwise we would make it to the first checkpoint, let alone to the finish line,” he said.
The Derby also encourages fundraising for a number of new school projects including the low ropes course, among other future projects.