The Great Aussie Hike has recently launched with a focus on helping people reconnect and support each other’s mental wellbeing by training together for the ultimate team challenge.
The purpose of The Great Aussie Hike is to help friends, colleagues and family to reconnect and support each other’s physical and mental wellbeing using the evidence-based benefits of exercise in nature, human connection and goal setting.
Isolation in 2020 has impacted everyone and this event creates a tool to help friends when they need it most.
Program Founder Sarah Archibald explained ‘The Great Aussie Hike’ uses three steps - connect and move, walk and talk and participate in a team challenge.
“After ending my 15-year career in the Australian Defence Force, my mental health suffered greatly. I felt very disconnected from my community. Being part of the first INVICTUS games provided me with the team structure and support that I now credit with saving my life.”
“It is this team focus of looking after your mates that is the foundation of the Great Aussie Hike program.”
With the spirit of caring for others a focal point, the team challenge will be run along the East Gippsland Rail Trail to support bushfire affected townships in this region.
Teams may register for either the 100km route from Orbost, 60km route from Nowa Nowa, or the shortest distance of 30km starting from Bruthen. Participants are permitted to choose from a number of different options as to how they complete the distance, with relay teams welcome.
"We want teams to explore this beautiful region and reward themselves at their own pace"
“Our only goal is for every team to cross the finish line. We will help support them in whatever way they feel they are able to achieve this.” Mrs Archibald explains.
Social distancing requirements will be met by using a staggered start for each team consisting of 4-6 people, all of whom will finish in Bairnsdale to celebrate their achievement.
“We want teams to explore this beautiful region and reward themselves at their own pace. There are wellness breaks, which comply with CoVID-19 health and safety requirements, and opportunities for teams to stay and spend in regional towns along their journey.” Mrs Archibald said.
“Towns along the Great Aussie Hike route will benefit from tourism and revenue created from teams passing through, which gives communities a chance to see visitors in their regions again.”
A designated team captain will lead each group to support friends and family using provided training resources that include personal training sessions, team walks, mindset challenges and a Facebook group linking to coaches, allied health practitioners and other teams.
Completing the challenge embraces the Great Aussie Spirit of looking after your mates.
To learn more and register your team, visit: www.greataussiehike.com.au
East Gippsland Rail Trail | Grab your mates and walk 30, 60 or 100km | April 30 - May 1, 2021.