Stratford firefighter Simon Oliver has completed over 1000 burpees to raise funds for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).
With the postponement of the 2020 Firefighter Sky Tower Stair challenge, Simon wanted to find a way to still participate and raise funds for the national charity.
Initially, Simon set the challenge to complete 1000 burpees but on the day, he decided to do 103 more.
"For the Sky Tower challenge, you climb 1103 steps and I wanted to match it."
Simon started the burpees on Saturday, May 23 at 10am, finishing at 12.15pm. He says the support of family and friends helped him push through until the end.
"Their support made the pain a lot more bearable, but a couple hours of pain is nothing compared to what the people with leukemia and their families go through."
He says his training helped him prepare for the event.
"It has also helped with the recovery."
Simon's daughter Sharon, 18, says she is proud of her father's efforts.
"It's nice to see something he is so passionate about and raising money for something so big and important is incredible, he's definitely a dad to be proud of."
Simon first participated in the Sky Tower challenge in 2016.
"I had seen the Sky Tower challenge on television a few years before and I always wanted to participate and help people."
In 2016, Simon raised $14,500, $25,000 the year after and $12,500 in 2018.
He says he is thankful for the generosity of people.
"Standing outside with a donation bucket in my firefighter's uniform is a very humbling experience. People tell me their stories and they're willing to donate. Most people know someone who has gone through it. I'm always blown away by their generosity."
He says he enjoys helping people and making a difference.
"I'm happy to be able to help and make a difference for someone."
Simon says he is thankful for the donations he's received.
"I'm thankful for everyone who donates, either in our community or those around the country who give donations to their local firefighters completing the challenge, every little bit helps."