It's events like Saturday's 'shoot-a-thon' that make me proud to call Te Awamutu home.

Last weekend Ollie Ward and Gerard Dorssers shot netball hoops for 12 hours to raise money to fund vital medication for a Te Awamutu boy.

Not only did they achieve their goals, they smashed them out of the park.

Te Awamutu mates Ollie Ward (right) and Gerard Dorssers during their 12-hour shoot-a-thon.
Te Awamutu mates Ollie Ward (right) and Gerard Dorssers during their 12-hour shoot-a-thon.

They hoped to each shoot 3000 hoops in 12 hours but reached that goal in the first seven hours.


They kept up the pace for the remaining five hours and ended the day with a combined total of 10489 hoops.

They aimed to raise $3000 from the event but estimate final figures to be close to $5000.

Te Awamutu mates Gerard Dorssers (left) and Ollie Ward.
Te Awamutu mates Gerard Dorssers (left) and Ollie Ward.

Ollie and Gerard say the event was much harder than anticipated and are both sporting wrist-braces this week.

"There was definitely a lot of pain in the first couple of hours and towards the end," Gerard says.

"But having all that support from our generous community was what got us through."

They say the event wouldn't have been possible without the help of family, friends and the community.

From 7am to 7pm a steady stream of supporters came to check out the event at the Te Awamutu Sports Indoor Centre.

People donated money, counted the shots, grabbed rebounds, delivered food and medical supplies, gave encouraging words and took photos.


"There are so many people to thank," Ollie says.

"A shout out to both of our parents and our close friends and family. They were there to support us for the majority of the day."

Although Gerard and Ollie are still recovering from the gruelling 12 hours, they're not entirely put-off doing a similar event again.

The money raised from Saturday's event will cover almost four months' medication for two-year-old Jai Bowers-Anstis, who suffers from daily seizures.

His only pain relief is cannabidiol (CBD), an expensive oil-based medicinal cannabis produced by Canadian company Tilray.

Jai's mum Jaimie says she is overwhelmed by the fundraising effort.

"It shows how amazing Te Awamutu is."

Altogether $40,000 has been raised for Jai by events put on by Te Awamutu supporters.

Jaimie says it helps to ease the family's stress and provide comfort in knowing they can afford the expensive medication.

"I don't think there'd be many towns in New Zealand that would do something like this for someone in their community."

You can still make a donation by contacting Gerard on 027 505 4008 or Ollie on 027 290 9268.