Australian Olympians join Indigenous runners in IMF Fun Run
11 July 2018
AOC: As the Australian Olympic Committee celebrates NAIDOC Week, we would like to acknowledge the work being done by Olympian Robert de Castella, Cara Smith and the team at the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) as they inspire running and healthy lifestyles in Indigenous communities across Australia.
In June 2018, ten Australian Olympians signed on with Deadly Running Australia, an IMF initiative, for a fun-run and relay around Uluru in Central Australia.
They joined more than 150 Indigenous runners with participants of all ages selected from 20 communities.
Olympic hurdler Kyle Vander Kuyp was joined by fellow Indigenous Olympians Baeden Choppy (hockey), Joshua Ross (sprinting), Bradley Hore (boxing) and Nathan Thomas (water polo).
Adding to the Olympic theme was Rio 2016 boxer Shelley Watts and the PyeongChang 2018 bobsleigh team members Lucas Mata, David Mari, Lachlan Reidy and Hayden Smith.
Indigenous marathon Foundation founder and Olympian Robert de Castella says the presence of the Olympians had huge impact on the participants.
“Olympians are some of our country’s most talented, dedicated and courageous young men and women, and they are exactly who we need to inspire our Indigenous community leaders.
Over the weekend the Deadly Fun Runners and our Olympians were welcomed to Uluru by the Mutitjulu Community. Each group of participants presented their hosts with a message stick or significant symbol from their own communities as a demonstration of support and appreciation.
It was a weekend to remember and hopefully will inspire more active runners across Australia in our Indigenous communities.