Soldier On - Running to Build Stronger Communities
Kumi Taguchi is the evening co-host on ABC’s News 24, and when she is not reporting on the latest news, she has been know to participate in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race or take to the off beat running trails. She is also extremely passionate about supporting our returned service men & women and giving them a voice. As part of the ABC's Mental As initiative last year Kumi spent the best part of two weeks being a fly on the wall at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in north-east Melbourne, and wrote an insightful article into the PTSD healing process called; The Battle After the War - As troops return to the Middle East, the true cost of our decade at war is just beginning to be felt at home.
So, when Kumi recently posted on Facebook about the Sydney Team from Solider On hosting a regular harbor run, we asked her to tell us a little more about it.
“I've been following the story of young returned soldiers for a number of years. I've always been intrigued with issues of identity, courage, risk and loss. In this group of people, I have seen it in droves. I've reported on the issue in various ways through work and have built up an understanding of the issues many returned soldiers and their families face post-deployment.
I had the idea for a 5km run two years ago but the timing wasn't right and the platform wasn't available. Fast forward to now: in a conversation with the CEO of Soldier On, John Bale, I raised this notion of building a community, that transcended military and ex-military and civilians. I raised the idea that running can, at times, bring new perspectives to life. We decided to start the Soldier On 5km and our vision is to make it country-wide. At 7.30am, every Friday, groups of men and women share a view and a run and a space, where new friendships and connections can be made.”
Want to get involved?
When: Every Friday, 7:30am - 8:15am (starting March 6) rain, hail or shine – and all it costs to join is $3, and you get a wristband!
Where: Meet at Bradfield Plaza, under the Harbour Bridge, in Kirribilli. At the corner of Fitzroy and Broughton Streets. Look for the Soldier On sign!
What: First, this is not about times or beating records (though if that’s your thing, go for it!). This run is about community, investing in new connections and getting those endorphins going. It’s a run that doesn’t care what your job was, is, or is going to be. It’s about being open to new people and conversations. It’s about giving running a go, taking in the sights of a beautiful city and grabbing a takeaway coffee at the end.
You don’t need to be a serving member to join in, and its for people of all fitness levels.
What is Soldier On?
Soldier On is about Australians coming together to show their support for our physically and psychologically wounded. They want to show the men and women of our Defence forces that they will always have their backs.
“It is about appreciating that even the strongest, even the bravest, even the toughest, can carry scars through life that need to be understood and accepted. I congratulate Soldier On for the work they’re doing … recognising and helping all who are part of our ex service community.” – The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia
We hope to catch you there!
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