FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

About Us

Every year in March New Zealand Rotary hold an annual Soapbox Derby.

This event has proven to be an overwhelming success on all levels, including fund raising, sponsor's satisfaction, schools participation and community entertainment.

Local businesses sponsor a kit set car into 20 nominated Auckland schools. The school requirements are to provide a team of 5 - 10 students from year 6 to 10, and a teacher to oversee the project. The students then assemble the car, paint it in the sponsors and/or school colours and logos (with assistance from friendly panel beaters and signwriters), and race it on behalf of the sponsor.

The winner and the car of the National event, held in April, goes to America to race in the International event.

The Rotary Club of New Zealand sees this project as an ideal opportunity to bring businesses and schools together, to the benefit of the local community. Due to it's success we have many enquiries from both schools and businesses wishing to participate each year and endeavour to include as many interested parties as possible. To avoid disappointment, we would like to hear from all those interested as early as possible.


Mission Statement

The Soap Box Derby® is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition.

Core Vaules and Drivers

• Youth Education and Leadership Development
• Family Engagement and Enrichment
• Honesty, Integrity and Perseverance
• Innovation and Entrepreneurship
• Teamwork and Collaboration
• Mentoring
• Volunteerism
• Commitment to Community

The Derby is the official sanctioning body of Soap Box Derby racing and has exclusive licensing partnerships with more than 100 racing districts throughout world. These racing districts conduct sanctioned Soap Box Derby races throughout the year and qualify champs for the annual FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby® World Championship race at the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron, Ohio. 

The Derby's Education Program is a fast-growing component of the organization and includes a STEM-Based Curriculum, the Gravity Racing Challenge® STEM Team Competition and a Mini Soap Box Derby program. 

The Derby also operates the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron, Ohio where events are held throughout the racing season.

The Board of Directors oversees the operation of the Derby, and the day-to-day activities are handled by the Headquarters staff in Akron.