Joel is in serious training. Photo: Andrew Shield
SurfAid is proud to announce that top professional surfer Joel Parkinson will be taking on the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships to raise money for a new school in the Mentawai Islands.
And Singapore schoolteacher Jackson English, who is SurfAid’s biggest individual fundraiser, will also be paddling for SurfAid in this year’s grueling 32-mile (51.5 km) race, which will be contested on Sunday 29 July.
“I'm really stoked to be doing the Molokai paddle and raising money for SurfAid,” Parkinson, 30, said. “I was up in the Mentawai Islands only a month ago and saw firsthand how much damage the 2010 tsunami did to the area.
“It was really confronting to see the damage it did to the landscape, and you can only imagine how frightening it must have been to have experienced it,” he said.
Parkinson will be raising money to help build a new school in Masokut village, on Sipora Island. The former village was wiped out by the tsunami and, with the help of SurfAid, the Masokut community has since rebuilt their village on higher ground. However the children, aged seven to 10, are being taught in a one-room timber shack that has plastic sheeting for walls.
“SurfAid's program to rebuild the school in Masokut is so worthy, and I'm stoked to be able to contribute in a small way," Parkinson said.
The school shack in Masokut. Photo: Duncan Macfarlane
SurfAid Schools Program manager Milton Brown said the fundraising target is $25,000, of which nearly half has been raised. “Billabong supports our schools program and it is great to see one of our leading ambassadors in Joel taking on the hard yards for the kids,” Brown said. You can support Joel here fundraiseonline.com.au/Parko
Jackson English, 37, who hails from the NSW Central Coast, is an old hand at the Molokai 2 Oahu, having finished runner-up twice and third on three occasions.
English recently helped raise $37,000 at the United World College of SE Asia 24-Hour Swim Challenge, which is part of nearly $400,000 that he has helped raise for SurfAid since 2006. ...read more