Sunday October 31, Peaceful Bay, Western Australia. Second day of a fishing trip between the coaching group of the LSWFL Landmark Carnival Team. Three mates in a boat named Dory, one mate cleaning the house and car, one mate on his way home to irrigate the orchard and one mate back in Manjimup not even knowing what he was in for yet!
Now when you’re in a boat with cold Corona’s and the Jordies aint biting there’s only one thing to do – Talk to a Mate! So the issue of how to get the best players from the LSWFL to make themselves available for the Landmark Carnival team is discussed. A leadership challenge to inspire these best players is required. “What about riding around the towns of the LSWFL?” “Nah…not hard enough, won’t get enough respect…let’s run the towns instead!!” “Even better, let’s do it under 4 days”…but first to check with the team.
Mate in cleaning frenzy says it won’t be pretty or quick – but he’s in. Mate watering the orchard wished he’d stayed to talk us out of it – but he’s in. Now five runners is good but six would make it feasible. Phone a friend is required, mate back in Manjimup laughs his head off, say’s we’re crazy – but he’s in. In a few short hours the “Mates 500 Relay” is born…
What followed was simply the turning of an idea into reality. A great team of people, an extremely supportive local community and a desire to combine inspiration for young footballers with awareness of one big issue: Regional Men’s Health. An issue close to all the runners, regional men’s health has many supporting organisations. We chose the Regional Men’s Health Initiative and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
So in March 2011 six mates from Manjimup, Tim Lyster, Heath East, Anthony Stubberfield, Mat Johnston, Wayne Barnden and Paul Omodei set off on a 500 kilometre relay. In 2012 they will trek an additional 500 kilometres again for the sake of raising awareness of regional men’s health.
The second “Mates 500 Relay” will see the same six mates running 1,000 kilometres through 22 towns and 16 shires across regional WA with the aim of again raising funds for the Regional Men’s Health Initiative and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. The inspiration to turn the run into an annual event came from the group’s desire to help further promote the importance of health and wellbeing to men in regional areas after raising over $58,000 in 2011.
Six mates, 1000km, one big issue: Mates 500 Relay…Mates Running For Men’s Wellbeing…