Karim Rostami (39)
A survivor of the polio virus that affected him when he was just a small child. The virus had left Karim with no muscle control in his hips and legs, with doctors telling his family that he would never walk again. He went through years of intense treatments, muscle therapy, learning to walk once more. “I came to New Zealand as an 18-year-old asylum seeker from my hometown of Kabul in Afghanistan. Having fled from the Taliban, I came with no family, no money and no English. I was quite young, turning 18 years on the journey, and now... I am a proud citizen of New Zealand”
Ian Jones MNZM (53)
Ian Jones (MNZM) - The Kamo kid as he is known is a former All Black playing 105 games including 79 tests over a 11 year career. Ian is a father of 3 living on the North Shore of Auckland and married to Janine. Family, community and health and wellbeing are his priorities and he lives out those values everyday. His family started, alongside their amazing volunteers, Eddies Meals - a community food kitchen in Takapuna to share their blessing. Ian is also an ambassador for AIA Vitality - a health and wellbeing program aimed at rewarding Kiwi's for looking after their health. Swimming has always been a big part of his life, both competitively and for fitness and Ian can be seen at the start line at many of our great sporting events in this country.
Richard Hart (53)
Family man and Real estate professional. Selling houses in Remuera and surrounds for the last 29 years. Married to his wife Wendy for 22, they have three children. He has zero competitive swimming experience. Every team needs light comic relief, Ritchie provides that. The list of his some completed/not completed fitness ventures are: 2007 individual coast-to-coast race, Round Mana Island Ocean swim 2010, Waiheke to Auckland swim teams event 2018, Off-road Triathlons (Queenstown, Wanaka to Arrowtown and Motatapu island) which he has participated in for the past 10 years.
Rick Wells MBE (58)
Former World Triathlon Champion and Commonwealth games swimmer and NZ Surf Life Saving Rep. Rick has completed the Westpac Waiheke Helicopter swim twice. He works as a Financial Advisor in Auckland. Well’s current philosophy is, "As you get on in time, you just feel as though you need a challenge in your life and to do something that scares you somewhat.”
David Mitchell (64)
An Auckland businessman with his own import and export company in China. An ardent supporter of the Westpac Rescue helicopter. A long-time friend of Rick’s and a regular participant in Rick’s swimming squad. David has completed several ocean swims including a Waiheke to Auckland event. Once the team had decided to nail a Great Barrier to Takapuna swim, they needed to choose a charity. "I had to call St John twice, during lockdown, to take me to hospital therefore it was a no brainer for me to propose St John as the Charity of choice."
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