Two friends who met while learning to ice skate at the ice rink in Basingstoke decided to team up to raise money for good causes with a 5 hour skate-a-thon.
Zachary Pinto 10 and Kaya Hoksas 7, both have lessons with Planet Ice’s “Learn to Skate” Programme. Zachary also plays ice hockey at the rink’s “stick ‘n’ puck” non-contact youth sessions and Kaya has performed synchronised skating in the ice pantomime.
Zachary, who came up with the idea, said: “At school, we were studying the book, The Islands at the End of Everything, it was a very good book and the main character’s mother had leprosy. Then, at the end, our teacher decided to take us to the Leprosy Mission webpage and educate us about leprosy. When I went home, I was inspired by the work of the Leprosy Mission and decided to do something to help them as they are totally awesome. I have been ice skating for about a year now, and I can go pretty quickly, so I decided I could do a five-hour long ice skate at my local rink, which is the longest session of free skating that they run.”
Kaya said “I am 7 and my granny died in December. My granny had COPD and suddenly got sick with pneumonia. Whilst in ICU she said she wanted the end to be dignified and we wanted to get her home, but she was too sick. We’re so incredibly lucky that St. Michael’s Hospice had a room for granny and she was able to spend her last few days in a dignified, supportive, wonderful setting. I was able to visit her and see her in a nice place. The last day my granny was well she came to watch me in an ice skating show. She was very proud of me and told all the doctors and nurses, my ice skate was to raise money to say thank you to the Hospice.”
Both children successfully completed their challenge, skating for five hours nonstop with only a five-minute comfort break every hour, raising hundreds of pounds for their chosen charities.
On the day, Kaya and Zachary skated at least 30 miles which is more than a marathon. Upon completing their skate, Zachary said: “I feel really good about the money raised and I feel really sorry for people with leprosy.” Kaya added that she was very tired with blisters on her feet which meant she was walking like a penguin but she felt very happy at what she had achieved.