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Lucas Cooper, living life one adventure at a time


Year 7 student, Lucas Cooper, isn’t your typical 12 year old boy. He doesn’t play ‘fortnite’, would rather go outside than spend his day on social media and is living a busy life, that has seen him represent the school in mountain biking and receive many ICAS certificates.

Lucas recently competed in the North Island Schools Mountain Biking Championships held near Tauranga at Summerhill Mountain Bike Club. Lucas spoke about the moment he realized that mountain biking was for him. He said: “I went mountain biking when I was four at Totara Park and I enjoyed it a lot so I continued to do it with my dad and then my brothers were into it and my mum was as well. So it’s kind of like a family occasion.”

Lucas competed tremendously placing 17th out of 40 riders. It was a 10km course with contenders completing two laps of a 5km course. Lucas admitted that it was a pretty tough race but he took on every challenge facing him and became the school’s representative in mountain biking time in many years.

Mountain biking is an adrenaline pumping, adventurous and physically demanding sport. Some may believe that it’s as easy as riding a normal road bike but mountain bikes are actually harder to pedal and as a mountain biker you never know what to expect as the surface is always different. But this is an aspect of the sport that Lucas says he loves.

“The terrain always changes…like you could be going around this corner, pretty fast and then you could be going up a steep hill and then once you reach the top of the hill, you might be going down, you might be turning left…so it’s always changing.”

The sport requires core strength, balance and endurance so Lucas trains every week and even journeys for an hour to get to Woodhill Mountain Bike Park where he trains with his dad. He also likes to practice at Totara Park and Waitawa Regional Park in Kawakawa Bay.

When asked about how he makes sure he’s giving 100% in everything he does and balancing school and sport, he said: “So I have like a schedule and school work always comes first…but if I finish all my school work, I get to bike so it’s like a reward.”

Lucas is also wise beyond his years with his words of encouragement to get kids to join the sport. He said: “I think more people should get into it because it’s physical, and you don’t need much, you just need a mountain bike and a helmet. And it brings you closer to the outdoors and I think it’s important for our generation to come up and realize that not every single minute of their time should be spent indoors.”

Lucas looks to continue mountain biking and participating in other events and with the work ethic and passion that he has, there’s no doubt he’ll be very successful in his future endeavors. His family has been instrumental in his recent feats and Lucas doesn’t take their support lightly.

“… (Family support) It prepares me for some of the races and I don’t think I could participate as well as I do without them.”

Shontelle Matano