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Batyr We Go To Bondi Beach

By Dan Hutton on October 3, 2014 in News

In an average Australian classroom of 30 students, seven will be dealing with a significant mental health issue, two will seek help and five will be suffering in silence.

On Saturday, October 4, over 90 university students will run into Bondi Beach having completed a relay run of a combined distance of approximately 500km. They are doing it for the same charity, they have the same aim, but they belong to two different universities and will be running two very different routes.

‘Civic2Surf’ is organised and run by sixty students of the Australian National University, who will run from Canberra to Bondi in 24 hours, while ‘Most Of The Coast’ will be run by Sydney University college students, who will run the entire coastline from Palm Beach to Bondi Beach in 12 hours.

Three years ago, five ANU students decided to run from their university in Canberra to Bondi Beach in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for the local Sydney mental health charity ‘Batyr’. As a for-purpose (not for profit) organisation, Batyr aims to engage, educate and empower young people to speak out about mental health issues in an attempt eradicate the negative stigma attached to mental health. Civic2Surf grew in popularity and in 2013 the organisers invited 10 Sydney University students to be a part of the run. Lily Rodgers and Olivia Campbell were two of those participants and they were inspired to get more students from Sydney University involved in the Civic2Surf in 2014.

The organisers of Civic2Surf 2014 decided to include 10 Australian Defense Force runners, leaving no space for Sydney University participants. This prompted Lily and Olivia to begin their own version. As both girls live on campus, they decided they would encourage a handful of students from each of the six colleges within Sydney University to run a relay race from Palm Beach to Bondi Beach at the same time as the Civic2Surf team.

Although both runs cover a large distance, the truth is that mental health is a huge issue for both uni students and all Australians. This week the World Health Organisation released its first report into suicide. They reported that there is a suicide every 40 seconds in the world. That is over 800,000 deaths from suicide every year, accounting for more deaths than conflicts, wars and natural disasters combined. We believe this run is a supportive nudge towards creating an environment where seeking and talking about mental health is not only accepted but encouraged and supported.

Most Of The Coast has already received over $10,000 worth of sponsorship from ANZ, Allion Legal, Gleneagle, Dyesol and Paradice Investment Management. All funds will go to Batyr, which works to ‘give a voice to the elephant in the room’ when it comes to mental health, through training young people to speak and share their lived-experiences in public settings such as schools and Universities.