A Halberg Youth Councillor cycled 148km around 11 Taranaki towns to raise money for charity.

Anton Besseling (19) competed in the BDO Around the Mountain Challenge in January to raise funds for the Halberg Foundation.

The charity, set up in 1963 by Olympic athletics champion Sir Murray Halberg, aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled young New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in active sport and recreation.

Anton, a Massey University Student has Holt-Oram Syndrome which affects the bones in his arms.

Advertisement

Anton has a huge passion for sports and outdoor activities and wants to raise funds for the Halberg Foundation because of the way the charity helped him and other young physically disabled New Zealanders engage in sport and recreation.

The Taranaki local has seen first-hand the positive impact that sport and recreation can have, and he is passionate about pursuing opportunities to break down those barriers for other young people with disabilities to become active.

Anton has attended the Halberg Games three times, and in 2018 won the Sir Murray Halberg Cup for Most Outstanding Athlete.

In 2019, he became a Halberg Youth Council member – a group of 11 young leaders from around the country representing the voices of physically disabled young people.

The BDO Around the Mountain Challenge is a 148km cycle challenge through 11 Taranaki townships and has become one of New Zealand's premier road cycle events with over 1000 competitive and recreational cyclists participating.

"It was an exhilarating feeling to have completed the challenge. I was overwhelmed by feelings. It was a big challenge and to complete it was amazing," says Anton.

Anton completed the challenge with his father, Marc Besseling. He says they did quite a lot of training for the event.

"The training paid off well as we completed the whole cycle."

Advertisement

Anton completed the race in five hours and 35 minutes.

"I was excited to share the moment with my dad."

Anton has set up an Every day Hero page to raise funds. He has currently raised $700.

"It's a decent amount of money and I'm happy it will have a positive impact on someone's life."

■ To donate, visit: give.everydayhero.com/nz/Antonscyclechallengeforhalberg