When Nelson man Neil Benson downloaded footage from a GoPro camera that his daughter found, he was hoping to find some evidence of who owned it – what he found blew him away.
“They were incredible,” he says. “I see these young men doing these flips around the place, it was a bit more exciting than what I expected.”
Neil’s nine-year-old daughter Maria found the GoPro in a garden at St Joseph’s School after attending church last Sunday. She took the camera straight to her dad.
Later that night Neil, an IT expert by trade, downloaded the footage from the camera onto his laptop in the hope that there would be some people on the camera so he could find its owner.
Its owner, Fajbian Sanerivi, was one of four teens who were filmed flipping, spinning, jumping and cartwheeling their way around the lawn and walls at St Joseph’s.
Neil edited the footage and uploaded it to his Facebook page, asking if anyone knew the boys in the film.
It attracted plenty of attention, more than 8000 views, 200 shares and dozens of comments.
One of those that saw it alerted the boys and they made contact through Facebook.
Fajbian says he couldn’t believe it had been found. “I just went ‘yessssss’. We had the camera set up in different places and I just left it behind. I was gutted.”
As well as getting his camera back, Fajbian says seeing the footage that Neil had edited was another bonus in the story. “It was really kind of him to do that and it looked awesome. It’s definitely encouraged us to upload more footage.”
Fajbian, Crusoe Jones and Hamish Colvin say they practice their tricks as often as they can, finding walls, swings and gardens to use as take-off and landing platforms.
“I started doing it in Christchurch and when I moved to Nelson I just carried on and met these guys along the way. It’s just good fun,” says Fajbian.
All three say they’ve never had any serious injury from their tricks and are inspired by videos they see on YouTube.
Neil says returning the camera to the boys was a great story. “They’re really nice boys, we meet at Zumo to hand the camera over and they bought me a coffee and Maria a hot chocolate to say thanks. It’s really cool what they’re doing. I hope to see more videos of them in the future.”