21 brave competitors from across the country are this weekend making their way to Perth ready to tackle the first of 7 marathons in 7 states in 7 days on Monday as part of Australia’s biggest charity run to protect kids – the Bravehearts 777.
A 42-kilometre circuit around Perth’s famous Swan River will signal the opening stage of the seven-marathon series before competitors fly to cities including Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Kingscliff and the Gold Coast to attempt consecutive marathons throughout the week (June 27 – July 3).
Hailed as the ultimate fundraising adventure for ordinary people who want to make an extraordinary difference, the Bravehearts 777 raises funds and awareness to help national child protection organisation Bravehearts educate, empower and protect Aussie kids from sexual assault.
Among this year’s field of children’s champions are lawyers, teachers, students, mothers and fathers – courageous people who have signed up to lay it all on the line to give hope to the Aussie kids enduring their own personal marathons.
This year Victoria’s Ben and Tammy Robinson have returned to make it three events in three years, and Dani McLaren and Queensland's Ian Harvey are back to tackle the Bravehearts 777 for the second time. Proving a huge inspiration to the group is Western Australia’s Gill Hamersley whose daughter, Abbey, took her own life aged just 17 after she was sexually abused as a child.
Around 100 competitors will join the 777 big guns across each location in individual legs of the marathon series.
Bravehearts Founder and CEO Hetty Johnston says the Bravehearts 777 is about activating ‘children’s champions’ in the community to make a real difference for Aussie kids.
"This event is an incredible opportunity to become a true hero for kids in your community, raising funds and awareness to help prevent a crime which we know is preventable,” she says.
“It’s about taking big steps for little people, while embarking on a personal challenge that gives hope and encouragement to kids impacted by child sexual assault to break their silence.”
The event has raised $250,000 and Bravehearts is hoping to reach $300,000 through public support. Funds go towards a suite of holistic child protection services including education and training and specialist counselling and support for children and their families affected by child sexual assault.