The Run Army fitness program in Brisbane's Gallipoli Barracks took place over the weekend to raise money for Legacy.
Over 800 Australian Defence Force personnel, supporters and contractors assembled at Brisbane’s Gallipoli Barracks on Sunday to support Legacy with the new Run Army health program. Participants in the Run Army program took part throughout the day in either 5km or 10km running courses.
Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester expressed hope that the new Run Army initiative would spread to defence institutions across Australia.
“As a passionate runner myself, I appreciate the mental and physical health benefits exercise provides and it is great to see our Army personnel partnering with ex-service community and raising funds for Legacy,” Minister Chester said.
“Congratulations to all those who participated today and I look forward to this program expanding to other bases across the country.”
Defence revealed that the run was launched by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, and the director of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation and world champion marathon runner, Robert de Castella.
Run Army follows an eight-week training program for soldiers, dubbed Running Change.
“Running can be quite challenging and daunting for many people – particularly over longer distances and when soldiers are returning from injury, illness or periods of leave,” LTGEN Burr noted.
“Run Army aims to promote running and its health benefits, while also supporting the important work Legacy does to help the families of our veterans.
“Running Change is an exciting new program that develops mental resilience, and enhances personal physical and mental wellness by incorporating running and exercise into your lifestyle. The program includes a gentle graduated running program coupled with sports psychology, physiotherapy and sports nutrition support.”
Brendan Cox, chief executive of Legacy, commented on the huge impact that it will have for veterans.
“We’re proud to be partnering with the Australian Army to bring Run Army to Brisbane, and look forward to an even bigger event next year,” Cox said.
De Castella added that running has the ability to support and benefit communities.
“Run Army is a great initiative to encourage people from all backgrounds to start running. The Indigenous Marathon Foundation has used running for the last 11 years to promote healthy lifestyles, and to instil self-worth and pride across our Indigenous communities. We have seen the incredible benefits that something simple such as running can achieve,” de Castella outlined.
“I look forward to working with the Australian Army so that together we can help change lives through running.”
Defence is expected to expand the program throughout 2021.
[Related: New recovery program launched for veterans]