Go­ing the dis­tance for char­ity


One man has taken on a fundrais­ing mis­sion to stack up 50 kilo­me­tres a day on his moun­tain bike to help give a lift to the res­cue he­li­copter ser­vice.

The chal­lenge has teams of West­pac em­ploy­ees banding to­gether to share 50km a day for the month of May, ped­alling to fundraise for the Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Res­cue He­li­copter.

West­pac fi­nan­cial ad­viser Ja­son Craig is go­ing solo, rid­ing an av­er­age of 50km every day in May.

Craig would have stacked up 1550kms by the end of the month, just 50km shy of the length of New Zealand.

He said he would like to do the whole 1600km.

‘‘Seems ridicu­lous if you’re go­ing to do it and don’t quite go the full dis­tance.’’

Most af­ter­noons, Craig mounts his trusted bike, leaves his home in Rich­mond and heads ‘‘wher­ever I feel like go­ing’’.

‘‘It’s more in re­la­tion to which di­rec­tion the wind’s blow­ing from. I want a tail wind home.’’

His cir­cuits in­clude Rab­bit Is­land, Waimea West, Bridge Val­ley, Mount Hes­ling­ton, Wake­field and Spooner Range; any­where, he says, that’s ‘‘flat and easy’’.

Every May West­pac branches all over the coun­try fundraise for their re­gion’s res­cue chop­per.

Craig said he hoped to raise as much money and aware­ness as pos­si­ble for the lo­cal ser­vice.

‘‘It’s re­ally around peo­ple just valu­ing what the res­cue chop­per does, and the fact that it’s there. It’s a fan­tas­tic as­set to the Tas­man re­gion ... we need it.

‘‘We’re for­tu­nate enough to live in an area where there’s a lot of the great out­doors.

‘‘It would be in­cred­i­bly sad if you we lost a ser­vice like the res­cue chop­per.’’

Each year the res­cue he­li­copter as­sists in more than 500 mis­sions a year in­clud­ing med­i­cal emer­gen­cies, search and res­cue, and mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents.

Every in­di­vid­ual in the West­pac teams do­nates $50 to the West­pac Team Tas­man Chop­per Ap­peal Chal­lenge Givealit­tle page to be part of the mis­sion while also go­ing out get­ting spon­sor­ship as well.

Craig said it was a good way to en­cour­age team build­ing and ex­er­cise for health and well-be­ing.

Most of us sit down all day, he said.

To do­nate to the 50km a day chal­lenge, visit https://givealit­tle.co.nz/ fundraiser/west­pac-team-tas­man­chop­per-ap­peal-chal­lenge#


West­pac em­ploy­ees line up for one of their 50km rides to raise money for the Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Res­cue He­li­copter.

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