10-year-old boy set for the ride of his life

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

10-year-old Ethan Hayes from Masterton has been preparing himself for the 40th Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge this coming Saturday, with his main purpose to raise money for Heart Kids New Zealand, the charity which helps children born with heart defects.

This year will be the fourth year Hayes has participated in this event, however, this time will be different as his GP found a small heart murmur in which later identified as a small hole in his heart. Hayes will be monitored but it is believed the hole should close up in time on its own.

“When we did our first cycle challenge entry I asked Dad what a ‘heart kid’ was. When I found out these kids were really sick and needed lots of operations I decided I would help them as much as I could,” says Hayes.

This passionate 10-year-old has raised thousands of dollars for the charity throughout the past four years and continues to do so this year with the intention to raise another $1000.

He says, “Over the years I got to meet lots of heart kids and play with them. It made me realize that even though they were having problems with their hearts they are kids just like me. I really enjoy helping Heart Kids because I know the money I raise helps other kids and their families be able to do stuff that ordinary kids do all the time, without even thinking about it.”

Hayes aspires to become a world champion cyclist, but before he can do that he has set a goal to break the world one-hour cycling record for his age, next year.

Check out Ethan’s page here: