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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Pedalling for Heart Kids

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

Cycling is in the blood of nine-year-old Ethan Hayes who today will be trekking over a 40km journey in a bid to raise money for Heart Kids NZ.

The Fernridge schoolboy will be taking part in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

It is a cause Ethan has supported as a cyclist for three consecutive years, and it inspires him to train three days a week alongside his father David Hayes.

Together the pair will complete the 40km quarter lake ride today.

It is a big challenge for Ethan, but he has recently completed the 50km Tour of Wairarapa to make sure he is race ready.

Ethan first got involved with the Taupo cycle challenges in 2014 when his father, set to compete himself, noticed a sign up for kids which would enable Ethan to join in during the last lap.

“That was magical,” Mr Hayes said.

“[It was] pretty special being able to finish [the race] with your son.”

They got to meet quite a few of the Heart Kids who were fundraising at the event, Mr Hayes said.

Ethan decided to start fundraising for the cause too.

Mr Hayes said he was impressed his son had taken such an interest at a young age.

“He can empathise with people in a worse position than him,” Mr Hayes said.

His family encouraged him to give the 16km ride a go last year with the incentive that he could once again raise money for Heart Kids.

“We didn’t bother asking him this year,” David Hayes said.

“We just signed him up.”

Last year Ethan raised about $1164 for Heart Kids, and his year he hopes to surpass $1000 again.

Mr Hayes has been cycling for most of his life, and credits his family’s move to Masterton as rekindling that passion.

“We moved to Masterton seven years ago, Ethan was two.”

He wouldn’t be able to do what he does if we had stayed in Auckland, Mr Hayes said.

“It wouldn’t be safe from him to ride the distances he does.”

The family plan on taking a few mountain bikes to Taupo this weekend so they can explore the area after the race.

“We are going to look like the Tour de France car,” Mr Hayes said.

To donate to Ethan’s cause visit everydayhero.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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