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Close Encounters

The Encounter Race Team, which is New Zealand's largest motocross team, are proud to announce a new major sponsor, The Wrangler, who has recently signed up with naming rights to the team for the next race season. The Wrangler are joined by Gavins and Fulton Hogan who have collectively joined to suppor the team.

The Wrangler Encounter Race Team is run by Youth Encounter, a youth development charity, which is a mentoring programme supporting amateur riders competing at a national level. They aim to support athlete's holistic wellbeing and develop confidence to tackle life's obstacles.

With the support of their new sponsors, the charity are able to provide their race team with a sense of belonging and pride, amongst both the motocross riders and their pit crew. The new team uniforms, complete with sponsor branding, assist to create a positive team enviroment for their young people.

"The idea is that everyone is in this together, contributing to a great cause and having a consistent team look helps to create that feeling," says Mary Wanhill, director of Youth Encounter.

The Wrangler owners Wilco and Waverley Klein-Ovink were delighted to partner with the Youth Encounter charitable trust through their race team programme. Waverley says the aims of Youth Encounter are ones she and Wilco admire and support.

"We are delighted to be sponsors of the Encounter Race Team," since it aims to create a community that strengthens, gives purpose and promotes personal development."

The teams' season started at the Taupo MX Fest, with the next event being the prestigious Summercross, near Whakatane in late December. The team's season is six months long, running from October to April, finishing up with the New Zealand national Championship series in various locations around the country.

The Wrangler Encounter Race Team is made up of young motocross riders from all over the country. Applications are made to Youth Encounter for a position on the team and then places are chosen based on credentials. The team meets for training days between racing events, where Youth Encounter develop not only riders racing abilities, but spend time mentoring the youth, encouraging them to be valuable contributors to society. With the suppor of The Wrangler as their new race team sponsor, Youth Encounter are fulfilling the vision for their motocross team of "vibrant youth living purposeful lives".

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