Girls join Dad on 100km charity walk
The summer of 2013 will be one to remember for the Wells family, but not for the usual reasons of sun, sand and surf.
Three members of the One Tree Hill family will spend Auckland Anniversary Day going for walk with a difference.
Ken Wells and his twin daughters Maiya and Sophia plan to knock off 100km to raise money for Child Cancer. They will be supported by wife and mum Audrey.
Each time Mr Wells ushers in a new decade he sets himself a challenge to mark the significant occasion. It is also an opportunity to tie in some charity work and give something back to the community.
Last time around, when Mr Wells reached 50, the kendo (Japanese martial art) practitioner persuaded his clubmates to join him in an endurance challenge comprising 20 hours of kendo training and went on to raise $9000 for the charity.
Now knocking on the door of 60 he decided the 100km walk would be his next goal.
He was initially going to go it alone but soon found willing partners in the form of 12-year-old daughters Maiya and Sophia.
‘‘I’m turning 60 this month and I wanted to do something else and the girls said ‘can we be a part of it’,’’ Mr Wells says. ‘‘ We’re aiming to do it in 24 hours, but with kids and a relaxed pace it might be 26 hours,’’ he says.
Depending on how they’re feeling on the day Maiya and Sophia may call it quits before the full 100km but if their training walks so far are anything to go by they have a good chance of going the distance. ‘‘The girls might do 75km but if they’re up to it we’ll keep walking.’’
Before Christmas the walkers had already completed distances of 20, 35, 50 and 60 kilometres and training was to continue throughout the holiday.
‘‘We’ve seen lots of parts of Auckland you don’t normally see, we choose different parts of the city to walk around.’’
The final walk will be done in Christchurch, where they will start the trek at the airport and finish at Akaroa.
It’s an unusual thing for children to find themselves doing over the holiday, let alone volunteering for, but Maiya says they were both keen from the start and needed no convincing.
‘‘Sophia and I are always doing stuff outside, we’ve never been the kids to sit inside and watch TV,’’ she says.
‘‘We like challenges and we’re really looking forward to it.’’
The team will also be joined by Mr Wells’ mate Louis Segedin.
Mr Wells chose Child Cancer as the recipient of his efforts last time after Mr Segedin’s daughter became terminally ill with the disease and has stuck with the same charity this time.
The family had managed to get pledges of $3000 before Christmas and is hoping to get a few more.
Big challenge: Ken Wells with twin daughters Sophia, left, and Maiya. The trio will be walking 100km to raise money for Child Cancer.