Monday, June 17, 2024

Due Drop Hope Challenge in full swing

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I Am Hope founder Miker King, left, and Richie Barnett are passionate about raising awareness for youth mental health. Times Photo / Wayne Martin

The Due Drop Hope Challenge, a charity triathlon involving a powerhouse line-up of former elite athletes and I Am Hope founder Mike King, is well underway with just over a week remaining.

The 16-day relay event was initially scheduled to take place in February, however, was postponed due to Cyclone Gabrielle.

It finally got underway on April 11, starting in Mangonui, Northland, and will conclude on April 26 on the steps of the Beehive in Wellington.

The group, which also includes a slew of non-athlete participants, are currently running, swimming and cycling the length of the North Island to raise awareness of children’s free counselling service Gumboot Friday in the regions.

The line-up of sporting stars includes All Black great Ian Jones, triathlon world champion Rick Wells and Howick’s own NRL star Richie Barnett.

Mike King says the delays kept his charity I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday busy setting up and operating the I Am Hope Wellness Centre in Hawke’s Bay and running an ongoing flood-relief fundraiser in response to the devastation.

The Due Drop Hope challenge covers almost 1900 kilometres as the team travels from Northland to the country’s parliament building in Wellington.

“Everyone was so disappointed when our plans were delayed, especially after the mammoth logistical effort and many sleepless nights that went to planning and organising everything, from our tiny team of staff to volunteers, participants, sponsors and supporters.

“But there’s no point in sitting around moping. We got ourselves to the East Coast and went straight to work talking to the community about their needs and set up the wellness centre to get as many families as possible the help they needed urgently,” King says.

To date, the Due Drop Hope Challenge Givealittle page has received more than $26 000.

Their longest day trip will come this Friday, April 21, when they travel more than 276km from Taupo to New Plymouth.

Auckland’s Sky Tower lit up in the colours of the Beacon of Hope as the team moved through Auckland on April 14.

You can track the team’s progress on

If you wish to help the team out, text ‘BOOTS’ to 469 to donate $3 for free kids counselling or visit the Givealittle page

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