Port Macquarie has welcomed three former Olympians to support a new program for improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Australian Olympians Nova Peris, Rob de Castella, Steve Moneghetti and children from the Ntaria community took in the sights and surf at Town Beach on March 8.
The group will now attend a luncheon on Saturday, March 9 from 11:30am to 2pm, fundraising to support the Bush to Beach Project.
Charlie Maher said it was started with Talitha Maher and supported by the Port Macquarie Indigenous Marathon Foundation Running And Walking group.
“The project enables participants to visit the partner community in recognition of their commitment," he said.
"Providing the opportunity to learn and share culture, experiences and stories with one and another while working towards creating change.
“This is the first year of the program and we are proud to have the young Ntaria participants visiting Port Macquarie in March for the 2019 Port Macquarie Running Festival."
“In order to make sure the program is sustainable and can make lasting change for many years ahead we are holding a fundraiser in conjunction with the Port Macquarie Running Festival.
"We are fortunate enough to have three former Australian Olympians, Nova Peris, Rob de Castella and Steve Moneghetti volunteer their time to share their stories and training tips.
“It is also an amazing opportunity for our community to hear from some of Australia’s best sporting champions."
Olympian Nova Peris said the Bush to Beach Project was awesome.
"It's so good to see because everyone knows there is an abundance of talent in communities but minimal opportunities," she said.
"Running can change people's lives and the IMP graduates have themselves become inspirations.
"It's a beautiful thing to see with Port Macquarie getting behind it."
IMP runner Jordan Armstrong, who arrived from Ntaria in Port Macquarie for the first time on March 8 said he was enjoying the cooler weather.
"Port Macquarie is very different (to Alice Springs), there's beaches and lovely weather," he said.
"I'm running the 5km this weekend and I'm feeling prepared, I usually run by myself but my uncle Charlie has been a role model."
Olympic long distance runner Steve Moneghetti said recreational running was booming in Australia and there was a growing new generation of consistent fun runners.
"Recreational running is booming in the current generation now, people are running in events like Parkrun with a festival vibe and with a goal," he said.
"Certainly when I started running it was something crazy people did because of the continuous training, its reassuring that now everybody is running for personal achievement.
"(My advice is to) try and enjoy the running festival atmosphere in the event, talk to people and embed yourself in the moment."
For more information about the fundraiser, please visit:
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