OLYMPIAN Susie O’Neill has called on women across Queensland to join Australia’s most popular adventure trek series, the Wild Women On Top Coastrek, which will be held on the Sunshine Coast for the first time in 2017.
If you’re a tired woman, busy with work or raising a family and always putting yourself last, then get ready for an adventure that will exhilarate you, while raising money for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Not only will you reap the social, mental and physical benefits of spending a day hiking along stunning coastlines with a bunch of girlfriends, you’ll also leave knowing you’ve had an impact on the lives of others by helping restore sight.
Coastrek is a team trekking challenge designed to get women outdoors in nature. Teams of four (including at least two women) will walk the beautiful beaches, bays and clifftops of the Sunshine Coast for 30km or 60km.
Olympian Susie O’Neill, who is an ambassador for The Fred Hollows Foundation, completed Sydney Coastrek in 2014 and has teamed up with event organisers Wild Women On Top to call on women across Queensland to join the fun of Sunshine Coastrek on Friday July 28, 2017.
Registrations for the inaugural Sunshine Coastrek are open at www.sunshinecoastrek.com.au with 2,000 women pre-registered and ready to take up the challenge.
“Coastrek is a life-changing adventure. It’s a chance to get together with a group of friends or colleagues and support each other to be fitter, stronger and healthier,” Ms O’Neill said.
“It’s also an opportunity to change the lives of people living with avoidable blindness, particularly women and girls, who make up 60 per cent of the world’s blind.”
Di Westaway, CEO and 'chief adventure chick' of Wild Women On Top said, “Coastrek is not just another charity walk. It’s a 12 week journey with a happy ending. It’s for those women who want a challenge but also want the opportunity to grab a coffee and a gab, or even a spot of shopping along the way.
“When our girls leap across the finish line smiling but weary, you see that look of exhilaration on their faces. They know they’ve done something remarkable. Not only do they get fitter and stronger, but they also get their sparkle back and help to get the blind to see.”
Since Coastrek began in Sydney in 2010 and in Melbourne in 2015, nearly 19,000 trekkers have raised more than $14 million for The Fred Hollows Foundation, restoring sight to hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s poorest countries and training local eye doctors and health workers.
Sunshine Coastrekkers will not only push themselves physically, they will also aim to raise about $1.5million for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Westaway started Wild Women On Top after what she calls her ‘Mid-Wife Crisis’. A frazzled, fed-up mum fighting 40, Westaway realised that while nurturing her growing family she had neglected herself. When a friend’s personal trainer invited her to climb a mountain in the Andes, a love affair with the thrill of adventure was born, and soon after so was Wild Women On Top.
“The main barriers to getting women outdoors are guilt, time, a negative association with exercise and family commitments. Coastrek motivates women to go walking with their friends because it makes them feel exhilarated,” Ms Westaway said.
Susie O’Neill remembers her Sydney trek fondly.
“I can say from experience that Coastrek is a fantastic way to spend time with friends, improve fitness and enjoy our beautiful coastline, and I encourage women across the Sunshine Coast and Queensland to join in,” she said.
“Tens of thousands of women have enjoyed the benefits of taking part in Coastrek and hundreds of thousands more have benefitted by having their sight restored thanks to the funds raised for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
“I wish I could join the first ever Sunshine Coastrek, but as you can see, my leg is in a boot so I am well behind on the training!”
Trekker Erika Bates, who joined Ms O'Neill and Ms Westaway at the launch said she felt great about getting fitter while helping raise vital funds to end avoidable blindness.
“The Sunshine coastline is full of natural wonders and there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to share those wonders with a group of friends, while challenging yourself and raising money for charity,” Ms Bates said.
“I’m really excited to be taking part in this year’s Coastrek and look forward to creating some great memories and sharing magical moments with my girlfriends along the way.”
Registrations for Sunshine Coastrek are open now, through www.sunshine.coastrek.com.au.