Girls join Dad on 100km char­ity walk

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

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.

Photo: JOE DAW­SON

Big chal­lenge: Ken Wells with twin daugh­ters Sophia, left, and Maiya. The trio will be walking 100km to raise money for Child Can­cer.

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