Wellington Airport runway walk raises funds for Cystic Fibrosis

31 Mar 2021

Steppers on the runway. Photo credit: Mark Tantrum Photography

Wellington Airport staff have united in a month-long Step Challenge and donated $5000 to Cystic Fibrosis Wellington.

The challenge was capped off today by a walk of the 1800 metre-long runway to round off more than 7,000 kilometres 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” says Jackie Holley, Wellington Airport’s General Manager People and Culture.

“The goal was to collectively walk the equivalent of 4,000 lengths of the runway or more than 7,000 kilometres, with 50 staff taking part. Each participant targeted an average of 10,000 steps per day using the Stridekick 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.

“The last year has been a difficult one 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.

“Wellington Airport has a long relationship with Cystic Fibrosis Wellington who we work with annually on our joint Christmas Tree Festival in the airport terminal. We have loved being able to support them further while also supporting a fun wellbeing initiative.”

Michelle Wilson from Cystic Fibrosis Wellington said “We are extremely grateful for the wonderful support received by Wellington Airport. Hosting our annual Christmas Tree festival in the terminal has not only allowed us to raise much needed funds, but also awareness of this debilitating disease. We’ve had a wonderful relationship over many years and this additional funding is a welcome boost after what’s been a very difficult year”.

About Cystic Fibrosis NZ:

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.

Cystic Fibrosis Wellington are our local branch of Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand, who work towards a vision of all people living with cystic fibrosis experiencing an optimised quality of life. Their work includes providing information and support, advocacy and welfare assistance, plus helping enable the nation's best scientists research new treatments and a cure.

Recent medical developments mean there is now a drug available that would make a life changing difference for people living with Cystic Fibrosis. Unfortunately, this is currently not funded in New Zealand. Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand are working with the drug company Vertex, Pharmac and clinicians to find a way to have Trikafta available in NZ, and change the lives of people living with CF.