Fit to fight fires for ‘Spirit to Cure’
05 October 2022
Porirua community advocate, Tom Aiulu is ramping up his training this week as he gets set to climb 5000 steps in full gear and New Zealand Fire Service breathing apparatus for Suncorp New Zealand’s cancer support fundraiser event at Sky Stadium in Wellington.
The insurer is hosting its inaugural Spirit to Cure fundraiser on October 13 in partnership with Leukemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and Cancer Research Trust New Zealand to raise essential funds for cancer research, support and prevention.
To date 479 of the insurer’s employees, sponsors and supporters have raised more than $250,000, far exceeding the initial target of $200,000 through physical events in Auckland, Christchurch and soon to be Wellington.
When Tom heard about the Wellington leg of the insurers Spirit to Cure challenge, Tom was all in and decided to up the ante by completing the challenge in firefighting gear, weighing an extra 25kgs.
“At work we support customers experiencing vulnerability, such as battling a cancer diagnosis, so I’m aware of the devastating impact cancer can have on an individual and their family. When the chance came up to do Spirit to Cure and support New Zealand charities supporting research and the search for a cure, my commitment was a given.”
Tom’s role as a Customer Advocacy Advisor for the insurance group sees him spending his days looking out for customers, supporting them through the insurer’s complaints process and assisting those who need a little more care or support in their dealings with Suncorp.
He’s also a devoted parent, involved in his three children’s school leadership and is a volunteer fire fighter for his local Porirua Fire Brigade. Tom’s career, volunteer firefighting and penchant for fundraising all come back to his passion for supporting others in their time of need.
As for his training tips? It’s as simple as doing stairs!
“As I progress, I add a bit more weight on – I’ve been known to train in full firefighting gear at the gym, but others could even use a backpack with water bottles. I like to add a bit of resistance going up. That helps build a bit of strength in the legs on top of cardio, cardio, cardio.”
Tom’s parting advice is to ‘make the time’.
“There are so many ways you can give back to your community. You don't have to become a volunteer firefighter; I've chosen this avenue and the board of trustees of my children’s school because they align with my passions and interests. Find something that excites you and take the opportunity to get involved with your community.”
Media enquiries: Kimberley Cameron +64 27 208 1268
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