|Martin Parnell announced the final challenge
in his Quest for Kids at Cochrane’s council meeting
on Mon. Aug. 11.
Starting on Sept. 19 with Quest University in Squamish
BC, Parnell will be trying for the largest game of volleyball.
In Alberta, he will be at the University of Calgary on Sept.
22 for a Quidditch Exhibition and then will be engaged in
Tunnel Ball at the University of Alberta on Sept. 24. Parnell’s
last stop will be at Memorial University in Newfoundland
for an ice hockey game on Oct. 14 and will wrap up both
the quest and Parnell’s five year fundraiser for Right
to Play. The activities are all chosen by university groups
and are a mix of sports and fun games.
“There’s no age limit,” said Parnell,
noting they want as many people to come out and participate
as possible. “Kids and adults can do this.”
People are also welcome at the talks he will be giving to
different departments and groups while at each university.
Parnell continues to receive generous support for his quest.
Cochrane Toyota is supplying a truck for the road trip,
Ink’d Graphics will wrap the truck in the Quest for
Kids logo and Buff Canada, a Canmore based company that
has pledged 2,500 neck warmers to be distributed at the
universities to advertise Right to Play.
Over the last five years Parnell has engaged in nine quests
to raise money for Right to Play, an organization that uses
play to empower and educate over one million children in
Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Parnell first got involved in Right to Play when he was
in his early 50s by running 250 marathons in his 2010 Marathon
Quest to raise $250,000 for the organization, which he surpassed
In total, Parnell ran 10,550km at over 200 km a week during
Marathon Quest and went through 25 pairs of running shoes.
After that, Parnell visited Right to Play schools in Benin,
Africa to get a better sense of what the organization does.
He was so impressed with how the schools engaged youth that
on the flight home Parnell decided he would do nine more
quests over the next five years to help raise one million
dollars for Right to Play to help 20,000 kids.
Using Marathon Quest as a starting point, Parnell’s
second Quest was Netball Quest 61 in Sept. 2011, breaking
the Guinness World record for longest game at 61 hours.
“That was the start of the Guinness events,”
said Parnell, who went on to break three more world records,
with the next being Lacrosse 24, a full day of lacrosse
that became the longest game ever played. “It’s
a tough game,” said Parnell, who had never played
before and went to a one-week boot camp at Springbank School
to learn with a group of grade 9 students to prepare. “It
certainly was a hard learning curve.”
The other two records were made in Cochrane, with the TriOil
Soccer Quest at Spray Lake Family Sport Centre becoming
the longest game of indoor soccer at 42 hours and Hockey
Quest, done in conjunction with the Lindsay Leigh Kimmett
Memorial Foundation, becoming the biggest game of hockey
ever played with 374 people playing over nine hours, a record
that remains unbeaten.
Parnell’s other quests have been a matter of endurance.
These include running around Cook Island three times for
a total of 100 km (because the 30 km race they were holding
wasn’t long enough for him), a marathon at Mount Kilimanjaro
followed by climbing up and down the mountain in 21 hours
(with locals naming a hill after him for his efforts),and
the sixth month TransRockies Quest where he completed all
nine of their endurance events along the mountain range.
Parnell’s last quest was completed a few months ago
in the UK, where he spent March running over 1,000 km along
south-western England’s rocky coastline.
Thus far, Quest for kids has raised about $635,000 and
helped nearly 13,000 kids in Benin and other countries around
Now Parnell is gearing up for his final quest, Canada Quest
for Kids, where he will attempt to break ten world records
at ten universities across Canada, all for the largest games
Anyone who wants to be involved in any of the attempts
to break a world record can sign up by creating a pledge
page at canadaquestforkids.com.