Father-and-son adventure


Father and son, Patrick, left, and Keenon Togawa pose for a photo before hopping on their bike during one of Marianas Racing Association’s weekend events in Marpi. (Contributed Photo)

Seeing 7-year-old Keenon Togawa imitating the stunts his father, Joey, does at Marianas Racing Association’s temporary raceway in Marpi is a sight to behold for the young rider’s mother, Joella.

“I am always excited when I see my boys riding, especially when they are riding alongside each other or when I see Keenon trying to do the stunts his father does. It has not only strengthened their bond, but also brought us closer together, along with our other children who are also determined to follow in their brother and father’s footsteps,” said Joella.

The father-and-son pair joins MRA’s regular weekend races, giving the growing CNMI motocross community a glimpse of the sport’s past and future. Patrick was among the active MX riders on island in the 1990s when competitions were used to be held at the CowTown Raceway, while Keenon just started with the sport a couple of months ago.

Keenon Togawa tries to keep his balance as he works his way through the course in Marpi. (Contributed Photo)

Since he is just a newbie, having his father as a mentor makes it easier for Keenon to learn his way around motocross—the first sport he took interest in. The Garapan Elementary School student added that the presence of his dad allows him to enjoy more the races he does, especially the part where he and his Mototec 49CC starter have to leap over the hilly portions of the course.

With his son now into motocross, Patrick hopes to see Kennon realize his childhood dream.

Joella Togawa, left, joins her husband, Patrick, and son Keenon for a photo before heading to the course. (Contributed Photo)

“It’s very exciting to see Keenon riding because I’ve always wanted to see my own son follow my childhood dream of becoming a pro MX racer,” Patrick said.

Keenon has a long way to go before he gets to that level, but Patrick likes what he is seeing from his son and vows to continue helping him work on his riding skills.

“Keenon’s skills is improving every time he gets on his bike. He is always super stoked when given the top to hop on his bike and take off and that was always the joy I had when I was a kid. I will continue to be his mentor and guide him in his motocross journey,” the father of four said.

Patrick Togawa takes off during one of Marianas Racing Association’s weekend events in Marpi. (Contributed Photo)

Besides his own father, Keenon has the other members of the MRA family helping him navigate his way through the sport and the Togawas are thankful for the organization that’s been working so hard to revive motocross and provide riders the training they need.

“We are blessed to be with the MRA family and see familiar faces, especially people from the childhood motocross family. Having younger children join the sport just adds to the excitement, as races get better every weekend with more ideas being brought out for both the racers and the fans,” Patrick said.

The veteran rider will continue to relish his moment with Keenon on the raceway, but hopes to share the track with his brothers Kiko and Joey soon just like the old days.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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