The newest group of Indigenous Marathon Project runners have come together for the first time in Canberra.

Twelve athletes have been selected after the program’s coaches toured the country looking for people they thought had the potential to complete the New York Marathon.

They have now started their six-month journey which will take them on four camps around the country, and includes a vigorous training program.

Indigenous Marathon Foundation Director Rob de Castella said there is a lot of excitement around the group.

“They’re in their first camp now. They have to complete a Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation, as well as all the hard work they have to put into running,” the former Olympian said.

“I can’t wait to see what they can achieve.”

The new squad have been training together on frosty Canberra mornings for the last seven days, including a fun run with the community on Saturday.

Broome’s Keifer Yu joined the group in Canberra after watching other Broome graduates come out as strong community leaders.

“I’ve been trying to find a new passion,” he said. “I’ve been following the IMP for a while, but have never been able to apply because of my football commitments … I’m excited to go on my own.”

Twenty-nine-year-old Jordyn Merritt said she’s doing it to help educate the next generation.

“Educating our children on health and fitness is extremely important because they are our future leaders,” she said.

By Keiran Deck