Coastal trek for mental health

Coastrekkers make the halfway mark for lunch at Peregian Beach. Photo: Rob Maccoll

More than 2000 women and a few men took to the beach last Friday to walk 30 or 60km from Kawana or Mudjimba to Noosa Woods for their own mental health and in support of Beyond Blue.

It was a warm, sunny day and, with the wind at their back, the women spoke of the enjoyment of spending a day with friends and helping to raise a record amount of almost $1.5 million.

A group of mums from school said they were walking for fun and to do something for mental health.

“It’s something fun away from husbands and kids. It’s good for mental health,“ another group said.

Australian Olympic Swimmer Libby Trickett will return for her fifth Coastrek as Ambassador and shared why she keeps coming back to Coastrek.

“When I was racing, I was a sprinter, but Coastrek has taught me about endurance and how strong my mindset can be. I think that’s what keeps bringing me back to this event.

“On event day, it teaches you so much about yourself and your friends and it’s an awesome opportunity to get out, see amazing locations and get exercising and chatting and support each other.”

Community ambassador Peta O’Brien will return for her second Coastrek and tackle the 60km distance.

After experiencing the loss of her sister in a tragic accident in 2020, Peta found training and participating in Coastrek helped recover from the sudden loss.

“Training for Coastrek was a huge help in managing my grief as it gave me a focus and a goal to work towards while supporting a cause I was passionate about. I leaned on Beyond Blue for support when I really needed it so I know the benefits that the 24/7 support service provides,” she said.

Coastrek founder and chief executive officer Di Westaway said their Sunshine Coast trek always attracted a huge crowd keen to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of walking in nature along the spectacular coastal route.

“Our goal is to get more women to fall in love with fitness and continue trekking and enjoying the outdoors long after event day,” she said.

The event surpassed its aim to raise $1 million for the Beyond Blue support service – part of an overall fundraising goal of $6 million for the year across Coastrek’s five events throughout Australia – including a brand new event in Margaret River in October 2022.

Established in 2004, Wild Women on Top is one of Australia’s largest and longest running women’s health movements. Their mission is to connect, coach and champion women in the in the outdoors through community hiking adventures and their flagship Coastrek program of events around Australia.

Since the first event in 2009, Coastrek has transformed millions of lives globally with over 40,000 trekkers in its 13-year history raising nearly $40 million, firstly through an 11-year partnership with The Fred Hollows Foundation and since 2020 with Beyond Blue.

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