Tickets to hear kayaker’s salty tales popular
Kayaker Scott Donaldson will bring along his battered kayak, which he had to abandon during a failed attempt to complete his mission of becoming the first person to kayak the Tasman, when he talks to the Matamata Lions on November 12.
The 140 tickets to the event, which are being sold for $25 each, will go quickly, Lions vice president Alex Johnson said.
Lions members have bought 50 of the tickets and Rotary and Kiwanis will also grab some.
Donaldson’s Matamata-based mum will be attending with a few friends.
She was part of the reason that the event was going ahead.
‘‘Donaldson emailed me and said ‘we have to get this organised or my mum will kill me’,’’ Johnson said.
Donaldson said his speech to the service club would focus on growing up in Matamata and how that formed the active man he has been his whole life.
The Coffs Harbour resident will also impart some key messages about the importance of keeping fit.
Both Donaldson and his young son had asthma, but because they were both quite active its affect on them was pretty minor, he said.
‘‘You can do
without asthma being much of a hurdle,’’ Donaldson said.
He had tried to complete the crossing from Coffs Harbour in Australia to Taranaki to raise awareness, in partnership with the Asthma Foundation, of the importance of increasing aerobic activity.
A portion of the money from the tickets, which pays for a dinner and the speech, will go to the New Zealand Asthma Society.
Donaldson will also talk about the importance of following a safety protocol, even if it means aborting a mission, as he had to.
‘‘Regardless of the whole country willing me to finish the crossing, it was a simple and easy decision to make,’’ he said.
Donaldson was also considering taking the kayak to a couple of Matamata schools, as he did in Taranaki (where he had been flown to safety after aborting the crossing).
He had set out in April, after three years of preparation.
It was his second attempt at the crossing and he had pretty much ruled out another attempt.