Shepparton’s marathon mums are at it again, this time taking part in 12 marathons in 12 different locations across 12 months.
Kathy Fuller and Narelle Pell began running for a cause in 2016 with a focus on raising funds to support the children who were the victims of sexual abuse.
This year, the pair have partnered with Goulburn Valley Health Foundation and Goulburn Valley Centre Against Sexual Assault, and they aim to raise $100000 for the service.
Mrs Fuller said she and Mrs Pell had run together for many years, competing in almost 40 marathons collectively.
‘‘We came up with the idea in late November last year,’’ she said.
With just six weeks to prepare for their first marathon in Hobart this Sunday, the pair said they were excited to partner with the GV Health Foundation and GV CASA.
‘‘That way we are able to work directly with the community,’’ Mrs Fuller said.
GV CASA manager Andrea Caia said the funds would be used across their service area of West Hume.
‘‘We push a strong message of education and empowerment,’’ Ms Caia said.
‘‘We provide education to kindergarten and primary school aged children regarding their personal safety and trusting their own feelings when something isn’t right.’’
Ms Caia said GV CASA provided different therapies for children affected by sexual assault and trauma.
‘‘We use sand play therapy, we also have access to pet therapy and we do art therapy,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s important to us to work in the prevention space as well as the response space.’’
Ms Caia said 30 per cent of GV CASA’s clients were children and highlighted that one in three girls and one in six to nine boys experienced sexual assault.
‘‘One is too many,’’ Mrs Pell said.
‘‘This is something that can be eliminated and that’s what we want to do.’’
The women said they had found running for a cause to be incredibly motivating while participating in marathons and wanted to assist in pushing the conversation of what is normally a taboo subject.
‘‘Our pain is temporary and these kids are living through lifelong pain,’’ Mrs Fuller said.
The pair will aim to link up with the other states and invite their communities to support the Goulburn Valley.
‘‘We’ll try to set up virtual runs so the community can run with us,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re aiming at getting people on board like the local schools.’’
The pair will also provide regular updates on their Facebook page ‘‘Imagine, Believe, Achieve’’, which promotes the idea of planting a seed for a better future.
GV Health Foundation chairman Ross McPherson said the foundation was delighted to partner with the women as well as GV CASA.
‘‘The trustees have a commitment to ensuring women and children have access to the best support possible,’’ he said.
The pair said they would also head to New Zealand to take part in one marathon there before finishing their huge 12 months of competing in Shepparton in December.
To keep up to date with the pair’s progress follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Imagine-Believe-Achieve-939749999451295/ and keep an eye out in future editions.