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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Indigenous marathon project inspires Bathurst student

Date posted: 2 May 2013

Charles Sturt University student and staff member, Elise Hull, has been selected to join the Indigenous marathon project (IMP) and compete in the New York City Marathon this November.

Miss Hull has been training conscientiously since her selection in March for the project and says she looks forward to competing and hopes to inspire healthy attitudes in others. 'As an Indigenous student and staff member of Charles Sturt University, I am looking forward to representing the university and the Bathurst community. I hope this project will inspire people in both my work and personal life to get fit and get healthy,' she said.

With Australian marathon champion Robert de Castella as project director, the IMP aims to promote healthy and active lifestyles in Indigenous communities. The 2013 IMP squad's six men and six women are training to run in the world-famous marathon, which attracts 40,000 competitors and two million spectators.

When the call for applicants went out for the IMP squad, Ms Hull attended a try-out in Sydney with more than 100 Indigenous men and women from various communities and walks of life. Under the guidance of Mr de Castella, the squad spends seven months training for this event and attending training camps.

During these training camps, the squad completes a Certificate IV in Health and Leisure. This helps the athletes with their running goals, and also gives them tools to become healthy leaders and role models within their communities to promote health and physical exercise. 'I feel so privileged and humbled to have been selected as a member of the IMP squad for 2013,' Ms Hull said.

'Around six months ago, I was approached by a friend who wanted to change her health for the better. She had decided to start running and, despite living in different towns, asked if I would be her jogging buddy. I agreed and over a few months we completed the Couch to 5K program. As busy mothers it suited us perfectly; running was relatively cheap (all you need is a good pair of joggers) and it fit in with our schedules. In those six months, I've gone from running 30 second intervals to running over 10 kilometres.'

'I've fallen in love with running. It's great for stress release, it's great for health and fitness, but it's also got my four-year-old daughter interested in being healthy and active,' Miss Hull said.

As part of her program, Ms Hull will need to complete a 30km time trial at Uluru in September to book her place on the plane to New York.

Source: Western Advocate


Last updated: 13 May 2013
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