The popularity of corporate fitness challenges has grown so rapidly that charity Oxfam has for the first time had to introduce a lottery system to select participants for the upcoming Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney.
While the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney event will not be held until August 27, registrations open on Tuesday March 16 and at the request of NSW National Parks the 100km walking challenge is always restricted to 500 teams of four.
Oxfam Trailwalker spokesperson Leigh Stewart said this limit resulted in competition not only on the trail, but in the rush of applications soon after registration opens.
“In 2008 we had filled all places for the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney in the regular fundraising category in 56 hours, and in 2009 it took just 45 minutes,” Ms Stewart said.
“Because of the massive growth in popularity of the event, this year we’ve had to bring in a lottery system that sees teams picked at random.”
Entry to the lottery will remain open for six weeks at the end of which team places will be drawn by independent auditors, however Ms Stewart said there is one way to beat the system.
“We’re aiming to raise $3.2 million through the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney this year, which will go an enormous way in helping communities around the world overcome poverty and injustice,” Ms Stewart said.
“It’s an ambitious goal so teams who commit to raising $5000 or more will be offered places on a ‘first in’ basis.”
Widely regarded as one of Australia’s toughest charity endurance challenges, Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney will see 500 teams of four attempt to walk or run a 100km course stretching from Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury to Mosman in under 48 hours.
The event has long attracted the support of the financial services community, including Victorian Head of Relationship Banking at Macquarie Bank Nick Carah who over the past six years has raised more than $50 000 for Oxfam through the Trailwalker events.
Despite working 11 hour days, Nick trains by running 10km daily and believes regardless of a person’s professional commitments, there is always time to run for a good cause.
“Regardless of what time you run, everyone’s a winner when they raise money for charity,” Mr Carah said.
Notes to editors:
Registrations open in one month at 10 am on Tuesday March 16 online at www.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker/sydney, and the contact details for all four team members will need to be provided.
The Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney will take place on August 27 – 29. The Melbourne event will take place from April 16 – 18 in the 100km from Jells Park in Wheelers Hill to Wesburn Park in the Yarra Valley.
$5000 can help Oxfam provide 25 impoverished Sri Lankan women with access to affordable credit to invest in small enterprises such as brick making, cultivation, spice production, shops and livestock rearing.
For more information, please contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.