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Indigenous Marathon Project Squad applications open

Rhiannon Clarke -

The Indigenous Marathon Project Squad are on the hunt for people who want to reach their full potential.

The Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) is a highly regarded program that has gained recognition within both the running and Indigenous communities across Australia.

It is a comprehensive six-month program focused on enhancing health, well-being, and leadership skills. Through this initiative, participants are "empowered to explore new opportunities that they may have never considered before", organisers say.

The national try-out tour is scheduled to occur in early 2024, aiming to select 12 individuals from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to participate in the New York City Marathon.

By harnessing the skills acquired during the marathon, IMP squad members become "catalysts for positive change and advocates for healthy lifestyles" within their respective communities, leaving a lasting impact.

Jade Ware with her medal she won from competing in the New York City Marathon (Image: supplied by Indigenous Marathon foundation)

The core program offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 to train for the renowned TCS New York City Marathon, which is considered the largest marathon in the world.

With no prior running experience needed participants will receive support from Robert de Castella, the founder and director of the IMF, as well as from experienced IMP coaches.

The Indigenous Marathon Foundation will cover the costs associated with the program. Additionally, the squad will benefit from the guidance and mentorship of previous graduates of the program, many of whom have remained an important part of the IMF family since its establishment in 2010.

Mr de Castella emphasises that the IMP is not focused on identifying the swiftest runners, but rather on identifying individuals who are driven and have the determination to inspire their communities and the nation.

These individuals possess the strength and motivation to overcome challenges, one step at a time. By joining the IMP, they will have the opportunity to surpass their limits and be rewarded with remarkable experiences that they will never forget.

"Don't hesitate, register now and take up the IMP challenge," he said.

"Running is easy, just one step after the other, but running a marathon is hard, just like life can be, especially if you want to make a difference.

"IMP will change your life and the lives of others in your community and family, just ask any of the 142 IMP graduates. Many of them never thought they could do it, but they did.

"Don't hold yourself back, give it a go and apply now. You never know what version of yourself is waiting for you at the finish line."

Peter Farrell, Beswick NT NYC Marathon finish (Image: supplied by Indigenous Marathon Foundation)

The 2024 nationwide audition tour will travel to various communities across Australia and choose six men and six women through a trial that consists of a 3km run and an informal interview with an IMP Coach and/or IMF staff member.

Additionally, the participants will receive assistance in obtaining a certificate in Indigenous Leadership and Health Promotion, a First Aid qualification, Level 1 Recreational Running accreditation, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid as part of the project's mandatory educational aspect.

Applications can be made online.

The try-out schedule will be announced early 2024.

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