Tick­ets to hear kayaker’s salty tales popular

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

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

fairly

big

things

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.

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