Eight Ruakākā firefighters raised more than $9000 towards fighting leukaemia and blood cancer by climbing Auckland's Sky Tower last Saturday.
They joined nearly 1000 firefighters who toiled up the 1103 steps in full gear and breathing apparatus to the top of the tower.
Ruakākā chief fire officer Darrell Trigg is a seasoned veteran of tower climbs and said besides being fun and raising money for a great cause, the event is an excellent motivator for keeping fit.
"If you want to get to the top in reasonable shape, you have to keep up a good base level of fitness."
The team prepared by running in full kit up Parihaka and Mt Manaia.
It was the first tower climb for two of the eight members of the Ruakākā team – Simon Lindsay and Nathan Kitto.
"All the newbies are a bit nervous, but they settle into their work," said Trigg. "One came flying past me and I thought I might see him resting on one of the landings – but I didn't see him again until the top."
Trigg was just back in the country after two climbs the previous weekend – New York World Trade Center May 3 on 4 in memory of 9/11; and Bow Tower in Calgary on May 5, another fundraiser for cancer research and support.
The Calgary Climb raised $400,000 and Trigg said he enjoyed helping to raise the money.
"It was -3 degrees Celsius and snowing – but that's nothing compared to fighting cancer, that's a heck of a challenge," he said.
"It's pretty simple to climb a few stairs."
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His next climbing challenge is the Firies Climb for Motor Neuron Disease, tackling the 1500 steps of the Sydney Tower Eye in November to raise money and awareness for MND research.
He hoped that some of his firefighting crew might join him, and he knows they will definitely be back for another go at the Auckland Sky Tower.
"It's a fantastic event and we had a good showing – I was really proud of them all."
Swimmers celebrate end of season
Bream Bay's swimmers are already back in the pool and training for the new season, but last weekend they took a break from training to celebrate their achievements over the 2018-2019 season at their annual prizegiving.
Club president Kevin Reade said swimmers produced some fantastic results this year.
"This is due to the commitment and effort of many people, not least the swimmers themselves."
He thanked coaches Richard Dunkerton and Tiana Birchall for their efforts.
"Without their dedication, time, effort, patience and drive to see our swimmers succeed, our swimmers would not be at the levels they are."
Paul Linton,18, and Rebecca Reade, 16, swam all-time club records at last year's New Zealand Short Course Championships, Linton in 50m and 200m backstroke; Reade in 200m backstroke.
At Northland Age Group Championships in January this year, Linton broke another three all-time club records in 50m and 100m breaststroke and 100m fly, plus three Northland Age Group and two Northland Open records.
Linton has since joined the Royal New Zealand Navy where, grandmother Gail McCully said, his swimming fitness stood him in good stead for the rigours of training.
Linton won the trophy for top male swimmer of the year for the highest FINA point-scoring swim of the season, and Rebecca Reade was senior female swimmer of the year.
Izaiahs Linton, 12, following in his older relative's wake, was the club's top junior swimmer of the year.
Other major trophy winners were:
Samantha Dutton (HMJ Encouragement Cup);
Thomas Guy and Alanna Brown (Beginner's Achievement trophies), Lawrence Reade and Abbey McKegg (Rye Endeavour Cups);
Alex Ball (Craig Cogan Builder under-9 swimmer);
Rebecca Reade (Hughes Trophy for the most club championship points female);
Izaiahs Linton (Birchall Trophy for the most club championship points male);
Senior Improvement Cups (Ryan Andrews and Jess Andrews);
Junior Improvement Cups (Alex Ball and Tayla Batten);
One-hour swim junior winner (Alanna Brown), one-hour swim intermediate winners (Hunter Dobson and Kiera Carroll); one-hour swim senior winners (Paul Linton and Rebecca Reade).
New director for Art 'n Tartan Show
A major coup for the Waipū museum and the Art'nTartan organising team is the acquisition of star New Zealand actor and theatre director Stuart Devenie as the artistic director of this year's show.
Devenie is well known for his roles in theatre and television and his face will be familiar to fans of Shortland Street and Brokenwood Mysteries as well as from his appearances in many stage and screen productions.
In 2008 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to entertainment.
Devenie will bring a wealth of experience to Art'n Tartan and is promising a whole new look to the show.
Entries are already in and plans for the show are well under way. New stage layout and enhanced lighting will bring the designers costumes to life on stage, showcasing them to full advantage.
Devenie said he was determined to continue the well-loved theme of Waipū's Scottish and multicultural heritage with the creativity that has always been displayed in the past.
With complete freedom for artists to create costumes this year, and the only criteria being the inclusion of tartan, audiences are in for a thrilling experience.
Tickets are already selling fast so don't miss out. Buy online from www.eventfinda.co.nz - prices are $50 for opening night on July 19, $40 for adults and $20 for under 16s at the matinee at 2pm July 20 and $60 for the sought-after Awards Night show at 8pm also on July 20.
Night of music
More than 40 musicians took part in Bream Bay College's music night last week.
Music teacher Scott Brown said the students did an amazing job of running the night, which gives a snapshot of the school's music department.
He encouraged students to write their own music and to enter competitions such as Rockquest and Tangata Beats.
This year four bands performed their original songs at the Northland Rockquest heats – with bands Zelama, SubDeer and Jeeks all making it through to the Northland regional finals to be held on June 11 at Forum North.
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