Charity begins at home


Samuel Muir’s barely finished one mammoth fundraising challenge, and he’s already eyeing up another.

But this one’s for a cause close to his heart.

The 12-year-old Queenstowner’s decided to tackle the annual Westpac Chopper Bike Ride from Queenstown to Invercargill next May, to raise money for the Westpac rescue helicopter.

The cause became personal a few weeks ago, when his grandad, former All Black Duncan Robertson, is believed to have been hit by a car and had to be airlifted to Christchurch Hospital.

“I decided I wanted to help,” Samuel says.

He’s a bit nervous about the 235km ride, by far the biggest ride he’s attempted.

“It’s mostly adults that do it, it’ll be really hard.”

His mum, Victoria Robertson, says they’ll have a go at the Dunstan Ride in January to help him get used to riding in a group.

“He’ll have to train pretty hard,” she says.

Samuel’s also just finished the Himalayan Trust’s Summit Challenge, where he walked 9058 vertical metres over July to raise money for people in Nepal.

He raised nearly $1900, and says he’s grateful to everyone who donated.

And in April last year he cycled the Otago Central Rail Trail to raise money for Camp Quality, which provides a getaway for children diagnosed with cancer.

The 15th annual Westpac Chopper Appeal month, in May, raised more than $57,000 for Queenstown’s new rescue chopper. There were 260 rescue missions flown in the Southern Lakes last year by its predecessors.