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Australians team up against poverty to raise more than $3.2 million for Oxfam Australia
Oxfam AustraliaAug 25, 2011 15:32 SGT
This weekend Sydney will host its thirteenth Oxfam Trailwalker event which is widely regarded as one of Australia’s toughest charity challenges.
From 7am tomorrow Friday August 26 more than 2000 participants (along with another 3000 volunteers and support teams) will challenge themselves to walk or run a 100 km’s in less than 48 hours to raise vital funds for Oxfam Australia’s life-saving work around the world.
Commencing from Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River, the annual event will continue into the early hours of Sunday morning as 550 teams of four try to cover the equivalent of more than two marathons back-to-back to reach the finish line at Georges Heights, Mosman.
Sydney participants are aiming for a fundraising target in excess of $3.2 million to help Oxfam’s work with people living in poverty, with more than $2.4 million already pledged.
Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett said it was due to the outstanding efforts of everyday Australians that Trailwalker has become Oxfam Australia’s biggest fundraising event.
“The most extraordinary thing about Trailwalker is the participants. Walking a 100km in under 48 hours is a real endurance challenge which requires months of training and real time commitment by participants. Alongside that is the commitment to raising vital funds to support the work we do around the world“I cannot thank them enough for taking up the challenge to help those living poverty,” Mr Hewett said.
The Sydney trail features the well-known Great North Walk and the Harbour to Hawkesbury Walking track. Throughout the 100km, teams will tackle interesting and challenging terrain, featuring single track sections, hills and rocky trails. At the same time they’ll be exposed to some amazing scenery as they pass along cliff tops, waterways and beaches.
This year’s walkers, who come from most of Sydney’s suburbs and from across NSW and interstate, range in age from 18 to 67. Teams are also travelling from Hong Kong, Christchurch, Japan and Canada to participate in the event.
Another 750 people will volunteer in roles such as podiatrists, physiotherapists and trail marshals, drivers and another 2000 people will lose sleep over the weekend as support crews who act as a lifeline to each team, providing them with food, band aids, hugs, clean socks to help them keep walking.
Over the 12 years that Trailwalker events have been running in Australia, over 35,000 participants have raised $35 million for Oxfam Australia’s work to help communities around the world, and in Australia, overcome poverty and injustice.
Notes to editors:
Teams set off on Friday 26 August in four waves at 7.00am, 8:00am, 9.00 and 10:00am starting at Parsley Bay, Brooklyn. The first teams are expected home around 7.30pm on Friday evening at Georges Heights Oval, Mosman and the majority of teams will cross the finish line from midday to 6:00pm on Saturday 27 June.
Oxfam Trailwalker is about everyday Australians doing the extraordinary. We have Oxfam numerous participants available for interview including:
• Former cricket player for the NSW blues Greg Mail participating with his team We’ve got Mark Faraday
• Former NSW Netball Captain and Australian Netball Representative Hannah Hauser and her all female team St. Martins Oxfam 100.
• The oldest participant John Hungerford aged 67 years (from West Pymble), has done every Trailwalker since 2004 and has raised over $40,000
• The youngest participant is Phoebe Pearson aged 18-years-old from Clovelly.
• Team There’s no place like home, supported by the Macquarie Group Foundation, have raised over $120,000 and broken the Australia Oxfam Trailwalker team fundraising record.
• Club NSW teams from the Dooleys Lidcombe and Revesby Workers Club who have collectively raised over $76,000.
• Fifth time Trailwalker participant Timothy King who has raised over $125,660 for Oxfam.
People can continue to sponsor teams and see live results of teams’ progress over the weekend at oxfam.org.au/trailwalker.
For more media information, or for interviews with organisers or participants, please contact Charlotte Greig on 0404 111 919. Email firstname.lastname@example.org