Shear commitment to fight disease
Farmer and stock manager take up challenge against prostate cancer
Two Central Otago men are undertaking a strenuous fitness campaign as they build up to the Shear for Life challenge at the end of February.
Tarras stock manager Cole Wells, 28, and Teviot farmer James Hill, 34, are looking to raise as much as possible for research into prostate cancer up to and during their 24 hour shearing challenge.
Though shearing is now no more than a hobby for both men, Wells saw it as a way to raise funds, and when Hill saw the publicity he asked if he could join Wells in the event.
‘‘I lost my dad to cancer late in 2012 and that has made me passionate about raising as much as possible for the cause.’’ Hill said.
Wells was very happy to have a partner on the boards for the challenge.
‘‘Mentally it will be so much easier with help, especially as the hours pass,’’ he said.
The pair have already organised a team of 25 to 30 people to help with the event, which will be held on Peter Jolly’s Kotiti property on Ardgour Road, Tarras, where Wells works.
‘‘There are physios, rousies, people to grind the handpieces, people to pen-up and press the clip; Mumis in charge of the team of cooks and it just goes on’’ Wells said. ‘‘It is turning out to be a bigger event than I first thought with lots of hidden things to think about.’’
They hope it will become a family day for everyone as they start at 6am on Saturday, February 28, and finish about lunch time on Sunday, March 1.
‘‘We have a half-hour stop every two hours and then an hour every four hours so to make it 24 hour shearing we need to carry on the extra time.’’ Wells said.
The Roxburgh Lions Club has committed their support to being on site with their hot dogs and chips caravan for the duration.
Wells has set himself a target of 750-800 lambs for the period, Hill is reluctant to set a figure but appreciates those who have already sponsored him $1 per lamb.
‘‘After I left school I was shearing for a few years so know that shearing is a physically and mentally demanding job that requires a great deal of stamina and skill.’’ Hill said. ‘‘I look forward to embracing the challenge as the struggle I will encounter will be small in comparison to what many men suffer every day with prostate cancer.’’
The men are seeking funds to help with the event and for the cause on: fundraiseonline.co.nz/ ShearforLife/
Ready: James Hill checks his shearing gear in preparation for the Shear for Life he will take part in on February 28.