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'Inspirational' Auckland boy completes softball catching marathon in fundraiser for measles-hit Samoa

He set himself the challenge of catching 1000 pitches for those in need but 10-year-old Jaedhan Roebeck went even further to show his support for familes in Samoa affected by the measles epidemic.

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Jaedhan Roebeck had some of the country's best pitchers helping him give his all for those in need. Source: 1 NEWS

Jaedhan aimed to catch 1000 pitches at Rosedale Park in Auckland but with a large support crew and some of the country's best behind him, he finished up doing 1501.

The young catcher from Roosters Softball Club caught in 30 minute blocks with five minute breaks in between - those breaks a chance to massage his aching muscles and give him much-needed fluids and orange slices.

"It makes me feel a lot better," Jaedhan told 1 NEWS about his short breaks.

"But then when I get back on, about halfway through my 30 minutes I would get sore again."

When he was fighting the pain though, he had some of New Zealand's best softballers helping him out with Black Sox utilities Pita Rona and Eruera Drage along with Junior White Sox pitcher Brooke Glassie pitching to him.

Jaedhan with some of the pitchers who helped him surpass his goal. Source: Debbie Barker Photography / Roosters Softball Club

Rona told 1 NEWS he was impressed with Jaedhan's heart.

"I tell you what, catching is hard enough, just trying to catch one game or two games," Rona said.

"He's pretty much going out here, going through 1000 pitches, catching them all - it's going to take a lot out of him.

"He's an inspirational kid at 10-years-old."

Along with yesterday's event, Jaedhan and his father, Albert, set up a Givealittle page to raise money for the Samoa Measles Emergency Programme - an effort that has seen over $3000 donated.

Read more:
Young softball catcher taking on gruelling challenge to raise money, support for families affected by measles in Samoa

Mr Roebeck told 1 NEWS he was extremely proud of his son's efforts.

"I don't want to get too much into it because it'll bring a tear to my eye," Mr Roebeck said.

"I didn't think it would be this huge, especially the support behind the scenes. 

"It just stamps and solidifies that what he's doing is the right thing and obviously people can empathise and sympathise with what's going on in Samoa."

After finishing his 1000th pitch, Jaedhan took an extended break before preparing to head back out and catch 500 more.

Jaedhan surrounded by friends, family and supporters after catching 1501 pitches in his fundraiser. Source: Debbie Barker Photography / Roosters Softball Club

He admitted to 1 NEWS during his break both the shoulder of his throwing arm and the hand he was catching with were aching.

"The ball would always hit my hand," Jaedhan said.

"I needed to catch it at the top of the glove but it kept hitting my hand instead so it would really hurt."

Still, he decided to push for 500 more and be an example of the strength those in Samoa have shown over the last few months.

Jaedhan summarised the experience the only way he knew how.

"Sore but happy."