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And The Beat Goes On, And On, And On, And . . .

31 October 2007

And the beat goes on, and on, and on, and . . .

Over five days, 37 Police men and women will run, cycle, and walk their way from Haast to Karamea on the west coast of the South Island. The trip covers 600 kilometres and has been dubbed "the longest beat".

The Police initiative is not just an enthusiastic exercise regime; the "longest beat" is a fundraiser for CCS Disability Action - West Coast.

"This is a great chance for us to give something to the community and help raise awareness of CCS Disability Action. It is also great for staff morale, fitness, camaraderie, and for us [Police] to become closer to our community", says Joseph Sturkenboom of the Greymouth Police.

All Police partaking in the 600 kilometre run (the distance between Wellington and Auckland) are doing so in their own time, and some are taking annual leave to contribute their energies.

The five day event aims to raise funds to build a new accessible 3 bedroom house for CCS Disability Action and its clients. The house will be used as a holiday home and will feature wheelchair access, modified bench heights, have accessible bathrooms, braille rugs and a hearing loop. Once finished, the home will be available to families on the coast - especially to those living with disability. The total cost of the project is $345,000.

In 1991 a similar Police run took place, raising $80,000. "The aim this time is to reach $100,000" said volunteer fundraising spokesperson, Cathy Hemsworth. "Working on such a worthwhile regional activity is truly drawing the best out of everyone," she said. "Service clubs, businesses and individuals are all pledging their support. It's just fantastic."

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Local schools will be supporting the event by holding themed collection days, and will also benefit from the event by hosting acclaimed Christchurch magician Nickleby. Nickleby will travel with the runners and cyclists performing a community care show in schools throughout the coast.

Other performers are donating their time too. Television and sporting celebrity, Brendan Pongia, will be reminiscent of Selwyn Toogood, hosting a "Cash or Grab the Bag" event on the final night of the fundraiser in Shantytown. Gloria Hammond, CCS Disability Action Greymouth coordinator, said she was thrilled that Brendan had agreed to come back to his home town to support this event. "It just shows that you can take the man out of the Coast, but not the Coaster out of the man!" she said.

Collection tins have been placed in all hotels and there are road signs between Haast and Karamea, promoting the event. Runners will depart from Haast on Monday, 5 November and will reach Karamea on Friday, 9 November.


CCS Disability Action Background Information

CCS Disability Action works in partnership with disabled people, their families, and whanau to ensure equality of opportunity, quality of life, and by helping to create environments of inclusion.

CCS Disability Action exists to make a difference for disabled people by removing barriers to participation, and by offering support to disabled people to access all opportunities in their communities.

CCS Disability Action operates with a National Office and regional management structure, providing services nationally from 16 incorporated societies. We deliver regular services to over 6,000 people with disabilities, making us one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand. CCS Disability Action works closely with other disability agencies to ensure we make best use of shared knowledge and resources


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