Duo tack­les epic for par­a­lympic cy­clist

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SAMAN­THA GEE

Cy­cling duo Ray Hewlett and Barry Wil­liams stopped off in Nel­son while rid­ing the length of the coun­try to raise funds for a par­a­lympic cy­clist.

The self-named CapeBluffers are rid­ing from Cape Brett to Bluff, the in­spi­ra­tion for their jour­ney sparked dur­ing a trip to watch the Tour de France.

Ray grew up in Nel­son, and last week, the pair stopped in to see Vern Walker at Nel­son Bays Mo­tor Group. Ray and Vern have cy­cled to­gether in dif­fer­ent parts of the world.

The pair wanted to raise funds along the way and chose to sup­port Par­a­lympics New Zealand and Tim Wil­liams, Barry’s nephew, who broke his neck while play­ing rugby as a 19-yearold.

Tim’s in­jury oc­curred dur­ing a scrum and left him with no mo­tor func­tion from the chest down but al­most nor­mal sen­sa­tion and feel­ing in his body.

‘‘He’s only re­ally got his bi­ceps’’ Barry said. ‘‘He is a nice kid and what lit­tle he has got, he has made the most of.’’

De­spite the life-chang­ing in­jury, Tim con­tin­ued to play sport and took up hand cy­cling in 2008. He rep­re­sented New Zealand at the Para-cy­cling Road World Cup for the first time in 2013.

He has since com­peted in sev­eral world para-cy­cling events and the funds raised by the CapeBluffers will go to­ward fu­ture train­ing, equip­ment and event reg­is­tra­tions.

The duo left Cape Reinga on Jan­uary 27 and hope to reach Bluff by Fe­bru­ary 21. They have raised over $2000 through do­na­tions on­line and about $200 had been donated along the way.

‘‘We’ve met a lot of peo­ple who have been very gen­er­ous,’’ Ray said.

The CapeBluffers have set up a Givealit­tle page to raise money dur­ing their jour­ney. The to­tal funds raised would be split evenly be­tween Tim Wil­liams and Par­a­lympics New Zealand.


Cy­clists Ray Hewlett, left, and Barry Wil­liams, right, with Vern Walker, dealer prin­ci­pal of Nel­son Bays Mo­tor Group. The cy­clists stopped in to see Walker half­way through their CapeBluffers fundrais­ing ride in sup­port of Par­a­lympics and Tim Wil­liams.

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