Surprise boost for master competitor

By Liz Wylie

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Fiona Pickering presenting Virgil Donlan with his Masters' Games registration.
Fiona Pickering presenting Virgil Donlan with his Masters' Games registration.

Virgil Donlan loves the Masters' Games and this year he is competing in the badminton mens' singles, the 5km walk and the 10km run.

A few weeks ago, it looked as if he would not be able to compete because of ill-health and he told project manager Fiona Pickering that he would have to pull out.

"Surprisingly, a couple of days later, Virgil rang the office happy that he was well enough to once again participate," said Miss Pickering.

She was especially pleased because she had him in mind for a donation from another entrant who had pulled out but wanted his fee to go towards helping another competitor.

"I knew that Pathways [provider of community-based mental health and wellbeing services] were going to help with the entry fee and they kindly donated $50," said Miss Pickering.

Mr Donlan still needed to pay another $35 for his registration but when he came in to pay it, he got a pleasant surprise.

"When he came in with his father, I called them into my office and said 'this your lucky day' and explained the story to him.

"He was so pleased, he gave me a big hug and said 'thank you so much, you have really made my day."

Miss Pickering said the donation could not have gone to a better person as Mr Donlan is not just a competitior, he also helps out as a volunteer at the Masters' Games.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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