A big chill is making its way to the Bay of Plenty that will send temperatures plummeting but fill the heart with warm fuzzies.

The Heart Stopper Challenge will take place at Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui on the March 19 from 10am.

The event will see teams plunge into a pool of icy water for five minutes to help raise awareness and funds for Heart Kids.

Heart Kids is the only charity that provides lifelong support for the 12 babies born every week with a heart defect in New Zealand and those children with an acquired heart defect from childhood illness.


Since its inception in 2001, Heart Stopper Challenge had attracted thousands of brave souls to take the plunge in support of Heart Kids.

The inspiration behind the Heart Stopper plunge is the 450 open-heart surgeries performed every year in New Zealand on little hearts - some just hours old. S

Surgeons sometimes fill the chest cavity with an icy slush to slow the metabolism during surgery to allow a longer window of operating time.

Go to www.heartstopper.org.nz to register a team for an event near you and set up your online fundraising page.