Nigel Partridge running in the Stadium Stomp. Photo: Courtesy Supersport Images

Scaling heights to raise $30,000

Nigel Partridge plans to tick a major achievement off his bucket list when he runs up 1,504 steps in the Sydney Tower Stair Challenge, but it is not simply a fitness goal.

The father of two has taken on the 309 metre vertical run to raise funds for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. With only a few weeks to go until the August 23 event, he is aiming to raise enough money to help breed, train and raise one Guide Dog.

“Charity is very warm in my heart and I’ve thought about doing this for a long time. I wanted to offer something back and if I can assist someone who is vision impaired that would be a great outcome,” Mr Partridge said.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is the leading provider of Guide Dogs and orientation and mobility services that enable people with impaired vision to get around their communities safely and independently.

“As we are financially dependent on the generosity of Australians to do our important work, any donation people can make is incredibly valuable in enabling us to provide our Guide Dogs free of charge to people who need them,” said Leila Davis, Guide Dogs’ Fundraising Manager.

“With less than 2 per cent of our funding coming from the government and demand growing from an increasing number of people with vision loss, we are incredibly grateful for the support from the community,” she said.

Earlier this year, Mr Partridge began his fundraising journey following a conversation with his daughter on philanthropy. “I wanted to highlight to my daughter that most targets in life are achievable,” he said.

Both his children have taken part in training, and although they won’t run on the day, the experience has given the family a “yard stick to understand that everything is possible in life”.

Mr Partridge is currently about $9,000 off his fundraising goal. His experience has been chronicled on his everyday hero page, which is filled with messages of support.

Raising the amount has been no mean feat, with the runner receiving support from the Freemasons, which he is a member of, his gym and even the local school, which is holding a gold coin donation day.

Then there is the training. “I am following a structured training regime of five or six days a week of strength and endurance training along with spin or bike classes. I’ve learnt a lot about the science of diet and exercise during this process,” Mr Partridge said.

He aims to cover the 1,507 steps in the Sydney Tower Stair Challenge in 12-15 minutes. The record for elite participants stands shy of seven minutes.

“Statistics show that every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with vision loss that cannot be corrected. With our ageing population the work of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will touch the lives of so many more as they seek support to build their confidence, mobility and independence,” Mrs Davis said.