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Running to promote mental, physical health


It’s not about the distance covered, but the journey undertaken.

A group of athletes will push themselves to the limit next month to raise awareness and funds for Lifeline Hunter Central Coast.

The Newy 100 will see participants complete 100 kilometres on foot around Newcastle’s beaches and the foreshore from 24 to 25 January.

Organiser Lyndsay Walker, a former professional cricketer, says the event is all about supporting a local charity and promoting mental and physical health.

“Being former athletes or involved in high performance-type things, we know how the mind and body works,” he says.

“We want to help Lifeline and help people become better and understand how we think.”

For Mr Walker, life was “awesome” until he reached the age of 40.

His sporting and coaching career then ended, as did his 20-year marriage, while his two children had grown up and were off living life.

After becoming lost, Mr Walker decided to turn to fitness and charity work.

He encourages the community to join in towards the end of the Newy 100 event.

“It’s about their journey – they might not be that fit but it’s about how they can be a better person or who they want to be, and then they’re inspiring other people.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 kilometres or two kilometres, the principle is still the same.”

The Newy 100 will provide much-needed funds for Lifeline’s telephone crisis support and face-to-face counselling services.

The charity currently answers almost 1,000 calls each month at its local call centre, which contributes to the high demands of the national crisis line, 13 11 14.

Lifeline Hunter Central Coast General Manager – Partnerships and Communication, Julie Wicks, says its services cannot operate without funding.

She believes the Newy 100 is a perfect fit for the charity.

“[The event] supports inclusivity – if you can do 100 kilometres then you can do 100, or 10, or five,” she says.

“I think that’s indicative of who we are as an organisation as well, which is non-judgemental, unconditional positive regard, and inclusivity of all people.
“A big part of our mission is to create resilience in the community and support people with suicide [prevention].

“That involves connecting people, which then provides hope – that’s what we’re all about.”

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