Wellington Airport staff take on runway walk for Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser

COVID-19 has hit fundraising efforts just as hard as it's hit airports and aviation.
COVID-19 has hit fundraising efforts just as hard as it's hit airports and aviation. Photo credit: Wellington Airport

Wellington Airport staff have united in a month-long Step Challenge as part of an effort to raise $5000 for Cystic Fibrosis Wellington.

The challenge was capped off today by a walk of the 1800m Wellington runway to round off more than 7000km walked by the team.  

"After a hard year of COVID-19 challenges, it's been great seeing staff reconnect, have fun and get out and about in support of a great cause," Jackie Holley from Wellington Airport said.

"The goal was to collectively walk the equivalent of 4000 lengths of the runway or more than 7000km, with 50 staff taking part. Each participant targeted an average of 10,000 steps per day, each using the same tracking app to keep count. 

"Collectively the team has smashed its target by walking 5175 lengths of the runway, a total of 14,785,108 steps. The leader has walked a whopping 1 million steps in the month - the equivalent of 350 runway lengths."

Holley said the last year has been difficult for Cystic Fibrosis NZ, as the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly frightening and stressful for those with chronic respiratory illnesses. In addition, it has been a challenging year for fundraising with reduced events and limited sponsorship opportunities. 

Michelle Wilson from Cystic Fibrosis Wellington agreed, saying Wellington Airport's support is vital. 

"This additional funding is a welcome boost after what's been a very difficult year," she said.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-limiting condition. It is caused by a faulty gene that one in 25 people carry, often without knowing; and causes a wide range of symptoms such as reduced lung function, chronic infections and malnutrition. There is currently no cure.