It’s time for another round of young Indigenous Australians to go through their paces, with the search for the 2018 squad of the Indigenous Marathon Project officially underway.
Applications are now open, with the national tour set to take place early next year to identify 12 inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and use the skills the marathon teaches them to celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement in their communities.
The project, a core program of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation, is open to all Indigenous Australians aged 18-30 and no prior running experience is necessary.
Successful applicants will have just six months to train for the New York City Marathon, with the support of IMF founder and director Rob de Castella, and coach and 2014 IMP graduate Adrian Dodson-Shaw.
‘It’s a really exciting time,’’ Mr Dodson-Shaw said. “Everywhere I go I’m blown away by the incredible potential across the country and the willingness of young Indigenous Australians to step up and challenge themselves.”
In addition, the squad will be mentored by the 75 IMP graduates who have passed through the program since its inception in 2010, and who continue to be an integral part of the IMF family.
The search is not about discovering Olympic runners; it is about finding motivated people who have the strength of character to inspire their communities and the nation through their commitment and ability to tackle challenges.
Mr de Castella said joining the IMP would test the limits of the 12 successful recruits, and offer huge rewards.
“Don’t hesitate, register now and take up the IMP challenge,” he said. “Running is easy, just one step after the other, but running a marathon is hard, just like life can be, especially if you want to make a difference.
“IMP will change your life and the lives of other in your community and family, just ask any of the 75 IMP graduates. Many of them never thought they could do it, but they did. Don’t hold yourself back, give it a go and apply now.”
Next year’s national tour will visit communities around Australia and select six men and six women in a trial that includes a three-kilometre run for women and five-kilometre run for men, in addition to an interview.
The group will also be expected to complete a Certificate IV in Sport & Recreation, First Aid qualification, Level 1 Recreational Running accreditation, and a mental health program as part of the project’s education component.
Applications can be made online or a form can be downloaded from the website www.imf.org.au.
The IMP is a program of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation, a not‐for‐profit foundation established in 2009 by world marathon champion Rob de Castella.