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           Home >  Regions  > Rotorua  :

MPs elated after skydive for good cause

Fiona Woodham - 08/05/09


Rotorua National MP Todd McClay and Tauranga National MP Simon Bridges were floating on air on Monday May 4 after making the ultimate jump for a good cause.

NZONE MPs Simon Bridges (L) and Todd McClay (R)
NZONE MPs Simon Bridges (L) and Todd McClay (R)
Photo source: NZONE
Click here to view a larger version

The two MPs took a leap of faith with tandem skydive company NZONE Rotorua to raise funds for the children's ward at Rotorua Hospital and for Canteen, the charity that supports young people living with cancer.

Mr McClay, 40, said there had been a few nerves as the pair flew up to 12,000 feet before launching themselves out of the plane with tandem instructors Lynette Warn and Peter Fiddler, but said the experience was "fantastic".

Rotorua MP Todd McClay with NZONE tandem instructor Peter Fiddler
Rotorua MP Todd McClay with NZONE tandem instructor Peter Fiddler
Photo source: NZONE
Click here to view a larger version

"The most enjoyable bit was the freefall, the rush of adrenalin and air before the canopy opened," he said.

"There were a few nerves on the way up there, but once we were sitting by the door there was no going back, not too much hesitation.

"There was an amazing view over Rotorua and the NZONE crew were very professional. I'd say to anyone who hasn't done a skydive that they should do it, it's a lot of fun."

Mr McClay said he and Mr Bridges had raised more than $1,000 to help buy toys and games for children's rehabilitation at Rotorua Hospital, and for Canteen, and said they would each both donate an additional $300 to the total fund.

The fundraising jump came about as a result of a fun 'bet' between NZONE Rotorua Operations Manager Keith Gallaher and Mr McClay, based on whether or not Mr McClay would get into Parliament.

NZONE was happy to offer the jumps for the pair and two radio hosts, who broadcast the jumps live to air, to raise awareness of the money raising venture and help local children and youngsters in the community. NZONE donated four skydives and four photographers free of charge to help with the fundraising.

In true political style, Mr McClay could not resist a 'dig' at the Tauranga MP. "Simon was really nervous, quite petrified, but here in Rotorua we're all about adventure tourism, rather than Tauranga which is all about lying on a beach."

But even he had to grudgingly admit that Mr Bridges had pulled through. "He was up to the challenge, in the end," he said.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges with NZONE tandem instructor Lynette Warn
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges with NZONE tandem instructor Lynette Warn
Photo source: NZONE
Click here to view a larger version



 
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