The 2024 Battle of the Clubs MX at Taupo

CAPTION: Bay of Plenty’s Cody Cooper, in action for New Zealand at the Motocross of Nations in England in 2008. Photo by Andy McGechan,

All roads lead to the Bay of Plenty this coming weekend, where the start gates will drop at the popular Battle of the Clubs motocross fundraiser event.

The much-admired event run by the Taupo Motorcycle Club has again attracted most of the nation’s major riders, with Saturday’s action at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park dedicated to raising funds to again send a three-rider New Zealand squad to compete at the annual Motocross of Nations (MXoN) on the other side of the world.

The MXoN this year is set to be held in England, on rolling grassland at Matterley Basin, on the outskirts of Winchester, on the weekend of October 5-6.

Often referred to as the “Olympic Games of Motocross”, the MXoN is the ultimate stage for international motocross competition and various teams sent by New Zealand over the years have always been well respected and highly regarded.

The silver fern flag has been flown on the final podium at the MXoN on three memorable occasions in the past – in England in 1998, in Belgium in 2001 and in England again in 2006 – and there’s every reason to believe that New Zealand can achieve this remarkable feat again.

But much of those hopes and dreams may depend upon the success of endeavours such as Saturday’s Battle of the Clubs (BOTC) fundraiser, the generosity of sponsors and efforts from the sport’s governing body here, Motorcycling New Zealand.

Just like the international MXoN, on which the domestic Battle of the Clubs event is based, the team-versus-team format used for Saturday’s cash-builder event in Taupo has been immensely popular with the New Zealand motocross community as riders from all across the country line up according to club or provincial loyalties, rather than bike brand or regular race team allegiances.

The Battle of the Clubs will feature mini riders, juniors, girls and women, as well as senior men and veterans.

There will no doubt be some exciting match-ups on Saturday, with draw-card riders such as Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper, Oparau’s James Scott, Hawera’s Daryl Hurley and Taupo’s Maximus Purvis, for example, keen to make a few waves on behalf of whichever club they might be representing.

Cooper, Scott, Hurley and Purvis have each represented New Zealand at the MXoN in the past and know the importance of this event on the world stage.

Motorcycling New Zealand motocross co-commissioner Stu McCulloch, working alongside fellow commissioner Sonia Cloke, said it was going to be “a huge weekend” of racing.

“Impressive entries have been received from far and wide, with several teams travelling up from the South Island, and that’s pleasing to see too,” he said.

“It shows just how strong is the backing from the Kiwi motocross community for us to send a team to the Motocross of Nations in England in October.”

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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Code No. MNZ-AM1080