Pair paddle for autistic kids

Luke Hallam and Zac Haynes-Love are raising money for Autism WA by taking part in the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d418570
Luke Hallam and Zac Haynes-Love are raising money for Autism WA by taking part in the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d418570

The 24-year-old said helping children with autism gain confidence and fitness inspired him to fundraise for the Autism Association of WA by signing up for the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race in Hawaii this July.

‘Training these kids is a real challenge because you can’t have an over sensory or stressful environment and literally every second, you’re focused on them,’ Mr Hallam said.

‘The greatest thing for me has been seeing the kids go from not speaking to anyone to knowing 30 different members and high-fiving people in the gym when they arrive.’

Mr Hallam said he and teammate Zac Haynes-Love (18) were really surfers, but heard about the 52km paddleboard challenge last year and ‘thought we might as well give it a crack’.

‘We’ve been training by doing paddles up from Leighton to City Beach and the river when the weather is right,’ he said.

‘I’m hoping to raise money for the early intervention centre at the Autism Association WA Shenton Park facility. We reached our halfway mark at $7500, but I reckon we can get a whole lot more.’

Visit www.facebook.com/Molokai2oahu4autism or donate at makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/HallamL.