A Napier man has rounded up his waka ama teammates for this year's Ronald McDonald House Charities House to House challenge.
Murray Linnell and his five teammates will be paddling 210km in March for the House to House Challenge.
Linnell said his personal experience with RMHC, along with the support they give to families, is why he decided to take up the task.
"For me, it's a great fundraiser for a great facility," he said.
Two years ago Linnell's teenage son Rupert was transported to Wellington Hospital for a week with a collapsed lung.
"He'd had 10 days in Hawke's Bay Hospital, his lung didn't do what it was meant to so he ended up down at the cardiothoracic unit," he said.
"We were able to stay at Ronald McDonald House – It was a fantastic facility and place to stay when you're going through the stress of your own child laid up in hospital."
Every month, families from around New Zealand travel an average of 210km to get from their homes to a Ronald McDonald House while their child is in hospital.
Each dollar fundraised per km in the House to House challenge goes towards RMHC's $400,000 fundraising goal.
The father of three saw the event was coming up on Facebook – stipulating that people try and walk, run or cycle the distance for the charity.
"I contacted RMHC and asked if waka could be included in the programme as well, which they said a resounding yes to," he said.
A RMHC spokeswoman said Linnell has a unique determination to give back to those who helped him.
The 52-year-old's waka team are from a new club in Hawke's Bay, Tākitimu Outrigger Canoe Club, and are currently training for the long distance waka ama nationals on Anzac weekend (April 23 to 25) in Picton.
Linnell said it made sense to combine the training they are doing for nationals with the challenge to build a bigger fundraising effort.
"It's surprising who you talk to that may have a connection to Ronald McDonald having had a child go through the system," he said. "Whilst it was a close to home for us with our own child, there are other people we know who have had similar experiences."
The six-man waka team usually train four days a week on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
He said on the weekend they often paddle about 30km.
"We're paddling a lot during the week so for me it was like the coming together of we're going to be doing it anyway with an added incentive to achieve that distance," Linnell added.