Striding out for a mate

Published on SBLT Cameron Taylor (author), Unknown (photographer)

Seaman Electronic Technician Daniel Hines raises awareness onboard HMAS Parramatta for the '4Tracks4Kids' charity walk.
 (photo: Unknown)
Seaman Electronic Technician Daniel Hines raises awareness onboard HMAS Parramatta for the '4Tracks4Kids' charity walk.

When Seaman Electronics Technician Daniel Hines took on the challenge of completing the 60km 4Tracks4Kids fundraising walk on 6 October, he did it with the support of his shipmates and in memory of a good friend.
 
His friend Nathan Berry, who died suddenly last April at just 23 years old, was a jockey and an ambassador for the racing community’s charity 4Tracks4Kids, which this year dedicated its major fundraising event in his honour. The challenge is to walk the four Sydney racetracks, or the four Melbourne racetracks - circuits more used to the rapid pounding of four legs than two.
 
The two became friends when they both rode Equestrian at a state level in South Australia as teenagers and were developing their jockey skills.
 
They were good mates who enjoyed a laugh together. Although their lives took different directions, when Seaman Hines joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2012, he was able to reconnect with Nathan at race meets in Victoria at which Nathan was riding.
 
It was while Nathan was undertaking track work in Singapore last March that he collapsed suddenly and died shortly after from New-Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus (NORSE) Syndrome, an acute form of autoimmune epilepsy that does not respond to typical anti-seizure treatments.
 
The 4Tracks4Kids community organisation works towards helping the children of Australia through raising funds to help develop medicines and cures for diseases the affect children. It also supports the National Jockeys Trust for injured jockeys and their families.

“4Tracks4Kids was close to Nathan’s heart and he was proud of his work as its ambassador over the previous two years," Seaman Hines said.
 
Ideal conditions marked the day of the walk for the 4am start at Warwick Farm. The first stop was at Rose Hill at 7am for light breakfast, before continuing to Canterbury for 11am. The walk finally finished at Randwick Racecourse, where participants walked down main straight and finished in the mounting yard between race 4 and 5. It was while at Randwick that a final cheque of $460,000 for this year's walk was presented.
 
“It was an indescribable feeling walking down the finishing straight of Randwick with the crowd cheering our efforts on,” Seaman Hines said.
 
“For me completing this walk was both to honour Nathan and to continue his work in raising awareness for the children’s medical research and epilepsy,” he said.
 
Seaman Hines shipmates in HMAS Parramatta gave him both moral support and helped him raise over $2,000.
 
This year the funds raised will be donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, which incorporates the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, the National Jockeys Trust and Epilepsy Action Australia.