Age and health no bar­rier for Sul­li­van


Age and health is­sues had proven to be no bar­rier for Al­lan Sul­li­van as the 89-year-old has gone about build­ing a soap­box in the name of men’s wellness.

Sul­li­van was di­ag­nosed with prostate and bone can­cer 12 months ago.

It hasn’t stopped him from pitch­ing in for Movem­ber, an an­nual cam­paign fo­cussing on men’s health dur­ing the month of Novem­ber.

Sul­li­van has built a soap­box racer as the re­turn of soap­box rac­ing in Timaru draws nearer af­ter an ab­sence of more than three decades.

Now, he is of­fer­ing it to a fam­ily keen to take part in the nov­elty event.

Soap­box rac­ing, fea­tur­ing an as­sort­ment of any­thing on wheels, used to run north along Stafford St be­tween the The­atre Royal and Sta­tion St in the 1980s.

A fundrais­ing group TiMOru - has brought back the event, to be run on a slightly dif­fer­ent course, in aid and aware­ness of Movem­ber.

Timaru-based Movem­ber cam­paign­ers Richard Brown and Felic­ity Bruce have or­gan­ised the Novem­ber 19 event, with a start­ing point at Ge­orge St, out­side the Timaru District Coun­cil build­ing.

The course then heads east from Barnard St to the fin­ish­ing line on Sta­tion St.

Sul­li­van said it was timely, given his di­ag­no­sis, that he was keen to raise aware­ness about men’s health, and help out a fam­ily.

A joiner and builder by trade - Sul­li­van said he had al­ways been into ‘‘cre­at­ing’’, hav­ing made nu­mer­ous items of fur­ni­ture and clocks from tim­ber.

He said hav­ing busy hands dur­ing his years of re­tire­ment had been ex­tremely help­ful.

‘‘I’ve al­ways been into cre­ations.’’

This was his first at­tempt at build­ing a soap­box racer, one size­able for a child.

‘‘I’ve struck a bit of trouble with my steer­ing but I think I’ve got it,’’ Sul­li­van said.

‘‘It’s a great cause and I reckon it’s great that I can do some­thing for them.

‘‘Age and health is no bar­rier.’’

Sul­li­van said he had de­signed the kart off the top of his head.

‘‘I’ve still got to fin­ish the brak­ing sys­tem.

‘‘I’ll get there, it’s just de­ter­mi­na­tion.’’

For more de­tails email tim­o­ru­soap­, check out the TiMOru Soap Box Derby 2017 Face­book page.

Alan Sul­li­van works on the steer­ing mech­a­nism of his soap­box racer.

Alan Sul­li­van, 89, has built a soap­box racer for the Novem­ber 19 event.

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