March With Me to see nearly 300 participants cross the finish line together after walking 116kms.
Further than the Oxfam Trailwalker Trek, March With Me is an annual walk that sees nearly 300 participants collectively walk 116kms from Portsea to Port Melbourne to raise awareness for youth mental health.
Ex AFL player and founder of youth mental health foundation Love Me Love You, Lance Picioane said the foundation’s annual ‘March With Me’ walk deviates from other charity fun runs and walks that people are often accustomed to as there is no winner or personal best to beat.
“As much as most charity walks and fun runs support worthy causes, there’s something about them that can make people, especially participants, feel that they aren’t necessarily supported. The whole idea behind March With Me is that we’re doing the walk together because March With Me symbolises the challenges that we’re going through in life and doing it together is how we get through things. There’s no race component because everyone is a winner and the hardest things you’ll ever do are the things you do by yourself,” said Lance.
Participants have the choice of joining March With Me for the full journey over two days (116kms), for one day (54kms) or for a half day(16kms).
“The funds that are raised from March With Me allows us to take what we’ve achieved with the walk to the general public and helps us get a support system in place for other young people going through a mental illness,” said Lance.
In 2016 March With Me raised over $200,000, which helped to deliver nearly 11,000 educational experiences to young Australians. Lance said the experiences provided to young Australians create a framework that can be shared among other community members. “While fundraising walks do provide funds for various initiatives and illnesses, many people lose sight of the real impact that charities have in the lives of others while completing their walk or run. “It has become such an individualistic activity when in reality fighting diseases, poverty and illness is not a competition at all and requires the united effort of many. “Going through these challenges with other people and the support systems available is the key to moving forward; just doing it together creates an understanding of what a supportive community feels like,” said Lance. Love Me Love You hopes to raise $300,000 for March With Me 2017, which will help the foundation to facilitate mental health education presentations and wellbeing workshops to schools and sporting clubs around Australia. For more information, please visit www.lovemeloveyou.org.au.
Greenpoint Media Nicola Trotman