Bank team to fly in Birdman

Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012
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KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

EARLY STARTERS: A group from the Co-op Bank is one of the first corporate teams to get involved in the annual Birdman event; from left, Scott Matthews, Stu Banner, Brydon Gillam and Pip Wilson. Penguin is Jim Griffiths.

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It's a little-known fact that a flock of penguins in Wellington is preparing to fly.

The team, from the Co-operative Bank, has entered next year's Birdman Wellington competition, and will dress in homemade penguin suits before launching themselves off Taranaki Wharf.

The event is being organised for the first time by Forest & Bird, which is encouraging entrants to fundraise for the not-for-profit organisation. Competition organiser Helen Ward says entrants will be given a personal webpage on which they can engage with friends and family and collect donations online for Forest & Bird.

"We think Birdman is a fantastic way to celebrate New Zealand's environment, have fun and raise much-needed funds.

"Not everyone will want to jump into the harbour. But people can still get involved by sponsoring their friends who enter."

The Co-operative Bank team was one of the first to sign up for the competition, using the yellow-eyed penguin from the $5 note as inspiration.

Team member Stu Banner says the group members are going to be sewing their costumes by hand and hope they will be seaworthy. "At the moment [we're feeling] pretty good, but it depends what the day is like."

The bank has recently partnered with Forest & Bird as its official charity,

Birdman Wellington is open to individuals and teams. A special Birdkidz category allows 8-to-12-year-olds to jump from a sea-level platform. There will also be markets, food stalls, live music and children's activities.

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- The Dominion Post

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