Bruce Hopkins is not your average man.
He’s known for starring as Gamling in Lord of The Rings, but his personal life is almost more of an adventure.
In 2018 Hopkins hiked Te Araroa to fundraise for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, a charity he says he’s deeply passionate about — being a loving grandfather himself — and raised more than $30,000.
“I’ve got four grandkids and I so feel for the grandparents that have to step aside from that unconditional love part of the grandparenting and instead have to be disciplinary, make lunches — their whole role as grandparent changes.
“They have to become the parents and it’s often because of traumatic situations,” Hopkins said.
In 2022, after learning he had cancer while hiking the length of New Zealand, he took on a more unique challenge. Hopkins loves swimming around Herne Bay and took to backflipping off the wharf. So, for his 67th birthday, he did 67 backflips.
With Red Bull setting up for the Cliff Diving World Series to be held in Auckland this weekend, Hopkins decided to take advantage of the bigger platform and set himself an even bigger challenge.
Starting tomorrow, Hopkins is marking his next birthday by somersaulting from a 6m tower 68 times, reaching speeds of up to 40km/h. Once again, he will be raising money for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
“I just thought this was too good an opportunity, and I asked them can I use part of this tower — but I didn’t realise it was going to be six metres!” he said.
Hopkins estimates it will take anywhere between two and five hours to complete his philanthropic flips.
Sneaking in a few practice runs on-site with Breakfast today, he sounded optimistic about completing his challenge, undeterred by the tall platform.
Hopkins has set up a Givealittle page in aid of his somersaults challenge.