Running Group Builds Fitness and Pride, The Chronicle, 2 June 2015
As we stood in the pre-dawn light, the moisture from our breath condensing in the air, someone announced that the temperature had risen… to zero.
We were at a park in Queanbeyan, with a group known as the ‘Deadly Runners’. Formed by Georgia Gleeson last year, the goal was to build fitness and pride in the local Indigenous community, with the goal of running the 5km Mother’s Day Classic.
All ten Deadly Runners successfully completed the run. Later that year Georgia again offered a similar program. At the start of the program, some participants could not run for more than a couple of minutes. By the end, all of them successfully completed the 5km Tuggeranong ParkRun. Some will run the 14km Sydney City to Surf in August.
Georgia’s inspiration came through her participation in Rob de Castella's Indigenous Marathon Project. The project gives young Indigenous men and women the opportunity to unearth their own sense of self-worth and pride by completing a marathon. Participants also complete a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health to educate and motivate their community on the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle.
The Indigenous Marathon Project helped change Georgia’s life from what she describes as an unfit smoker to completing the 2013 New York Marathon.
Georgia has also helped to shape my running career, encouraging me to become a supporter of the Indigenous Marathon Project. Having recently run the Canberra Marathon, I’ll be running the Gold Coast Marathon in July to raise funds for the Indigenous Marathon Project (you can donate at http://goo.gl/Tno5WU).
Georgia’s enthusiasm for running is inspirational. As we ran along in the crisp dawn, I was struck by the sense of fun that she creates in her morning running group. As well as building fitness, Georgia is also helping to make us a more connected community.
If you’d like to join Georgia for a morning run – or if you’re able to support her running group – just drop me an email and I’ll put you in touch with her.
Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Member for Fraser. His email address is Andrew.Leigh.MP<asperand>aph.gov.au.