Aiden Satterthwaite, 15, challenged himself to ride 41 kilometres Oct. 12, 2020, to raise funds for a playground in his community of Valley of the Sun along Westside Road. (Jason Satterthwaite - Facebook)

Aiden Satterthwaite, 15, challenged himself to ride 41 kilometres Oct. 12, 2020, to raise funds for a playground in his community of Valley of the Sun along Westside Road. (Jason Satterthwaite - Facebook)

Vernon teen takes on 41 km unicycle challenge for new park

Aiden Satterthwaite, 15, undertakes one-wheeled ride to advocate for importance of play, raise funds for Westside Road park

Today is the day 15-year-old Aiden Satterthwaite will ride 41 kilometres on a unicycle in hopes to raise money for a new playground.

The Grade 10 W.L. Seaton Secondary student said he’s undertaking the lengthy one-wheeled ride to raise awareness of the importance of play and to raise money for a future park development in his community.

Satterthwaite resides in a small subdivision of Valley of the Sun along Westside Road near Fintry Provincial Park and the subdivisions, he said, were all developed without any green space.

“It has been my dream as a small boy to see a playground built,” said Satterthwaite. “I would love to see that happen.”

All the money he raises will be held in trust by the North Westside Community Association. Its parks committee is currently looking at the options of new park development.

“I know I would be gone off to college long before any park is built out here,” he said. “I am doing this fundraiser so the little kids growing up here will be able to enjoy a dream I have long had.”

Satterthwaite has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $5,000 toward the project. As of Monday, Oct. 12, more than $3,000 has been raised.

“In the days of Snapchat, Fortnite and Zoom classrooms, I want everyone to remember how important it is to get out and play today,” said Satterthwaite. “To exercise not only your body but to also your mind.”

Satterthwaite will start his ride at Udell Road and head north along Westside Road to Highway 97. He’ll turn right and go along Old Kamloops Road to 43rd Avenue, then cover the final sevens blocks over to Seaton school on 27th Street.

If he completes the challenge, Satterthwaite estimates it will take him five-to-seven hours. He will be led and followed by two experienced bicyclists to ensure a safe ride.

“I encourage you to get out and play today, whatever your age is, and please support me in my challenge,” said Satterthwaite.

The 41-km route he’s challenged himself to Monday, Oct. 12, is his school bus route.

To donate, visit GoFundMe.com.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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