Margaret River Coastrek sees women unite raising funds for Beyond Blue

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Natalie Jenkinson, Stephanie Kirchhofer, Veronica Lepidi, Gemma Henchie, Kirsten Naude, Kelly Milner and Marika Brock are among the big team of women training for the Cape-to-Cape Track.
Camera IconNatalie Jenkinson, Stephanie Kirchhofer, Veronica Lepidi, Gemma Henchie, Kirsten Naude, Kelly Milner and Marika Brock are among the big team of women training for the Cape-to-Cape Track. Credit: Supplied

A group of Capes women are hard at work training for a massive national fundraiser along the Cape-to-Cape Track in October.

The women from Dunsborough and Yallingup have formed two teams to take on Coastrek, starting on October 28 and raising money for charity Beyond Blue.

It’s the first time the women’s-only adventure will come to the Margaret River region, with Coastrek already an established fundraising challenge in Sydney, the Sunshine Coast and Adelaide’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

Group spokeswoman Kelly Milner told the Times the participants, who have been training around Yallingup, were mindful every call to Beyond Blue from someone in distress cost the not-for-profit about $48.

“The calls provide those who are struggling with immediate support, a friendly voice on the end of the phone, and often a life-changing referral to a mental health specialist,” Ms Milner said.

“Doing the Coastrek walk can help facilitate thousands of calls, and potentially save so many lives.”

The women have already smashed their initial fundraising goal, but encouraged everyone who wanted to help to continue making donations in the lead-up to the main event.

The Margaret River Coastrek had so far raised an astonishing $220,000 for the charity.

“We would encourage everyone to grab a few friends and make a team because Coastrek events do sell out,” she said.

“We have all gained so much by being involved in this fantastic event.”

The participants said their training sessions were a great form of exercise, which was also key to “maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing,” Ms Milner said.

“The other fantastic benefit of our organised walks is it inspires us to get out there and explore the many amazing coastal and country walking trails that we have in our area – arguably some of the most beautiful hiking tracks in Australia, if not the world,” she told the Times.

“We plan to keep the walking group going after the Coastrek event, encouraging others to join us, and perhaps planning walks further afield.”

The group already had a following on social media and hoped to inspire others.

Team member Gemma Hinchie said she and the other mothers involved would undertake the trek starting at Hamelin Bay and finishing at Prevelly.

“As a group, we all know of someone that has suffered from mental health issues and we wanted to do something to assist Beyond Blue who do a wonderful job supporting those in our community,” she said.

“A pleasant bonus to signing up to this event is the camaraderie and conversations we are having as a group while we train together. It is also getting us motivated to be more active. We can highly recommend this event to anyone considering to do it.”

Coastrek founder and chief executive Di Westaway was thrilled the event continued to grow across the country.

“There will be some rock scrambling and some challenging terrain, but for the most part this will be a memorable trek for all participants because of the unique environment and spectacular coastal views that we are blessed with in Margaret River,” she said.

Registrations for teams of four close on September 16.

Visit www.coastrek.com.au to get involved.

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