Young Aboriginal Men Set Pace For New York City Marathon

< BACK TO INDIGENOUS starstarstarstarstar   Culture - Indigenous Press Release
4th November 2010, 12:31pm - Views: 734





Misc Miscellaneous Department Of Health And Ageing 1 image


THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP

Minister for Indigenous Health 



THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services 

and Indigenous Affairs

SENATOR THE HON MARK ARBIB 

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development

Minister for Sport





4 November 2010



YOUNG ABORIGINAL MEN SET PACE FOR NEW YORK CITY MARATHON


Four young men from remote parts of Northern Australia are to become the nation’s first

Aboriginal marathon team to compete in the world-famous New York City Marathon this

weekend on November 7. 


The first-time marathoners are Charlie Maher, Caleb Hart, Juan Darwin and Joseph Davies

from the communities of Alice Springs and Maningrida in the Northern Territory and

Kununurra in Western Australia.


The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, who took the four runners on a tour of

parliament house earlier in the year, said the talented youngsters are great role models. 


“I am proud to have a personal connection with two of the runners; Charlie and Caleb, who

grew up in Alice Springs, where I live. These four young men, who are aiming to complete a

42 kilometres marathon, should be congratulated for promoting distance running in remote

communities and encouraging others to pursue their dreams and live healthier lives. I have

every confidence they will do well,” Mr Snowdon said.


“Their journey, from some of the remotest parts of Australia to the streets of New York, is an

inspiration for other young people in remote Indigenous communities,” the Minister for

Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said. 


“These men will encourage other people from their communities to lead healthier lifestyles.

Through supporting initiatives such as this, the Government can help tackle Indigenous

health problems head on and get people living healthier lives.”


The Australian Government is providing $500,000 over two years to the SmartStart for Kids

initiative of former world champion marathon runner Rob de Castella, which aims to

revitalise running among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and to establish

educational programs that encourage a healthy lifestyle, exercise and good nutrition.


“I was fortunate enough to meet and go for a brief run with these young men before they

went to New York. It is a fantastic achievement for these men who were selected from

remote communities right across the NT and WA,” Senator Arbib said. 

Misc Miscellaneous Department Of Health And Ageing 2 image




“The comprehensive training and education they receive under Robert de Castella’s

SmartStart for Kids program was definitely evident on our run. The Australian Government is

proud to support the program,” he said.  


Four of these previously untrained athletes have now been selected to run in New York –

having been turned into marathoners in less than one year. They have already competed in

Dili in East Timor, and completed a half marathon in Central Australia and, when they return,

their experiences will give them confidence to act as healthy lifestyle role models and

ambassadors within their community.  


“The efforts of the team so far have been fantastic, and the journey to the start line of the

New York City Marathon provides a significant sense of achievement and personal pride for

the runners, their families and their communities,” Mr Snowdon said. 


Editor’s note: A photo of the runners visiting parliament in May 2010 is available at:



Media contact: 

Alice Plate (Snowdon) 0400 045 999

Keely Bell (Macklin) 0417 297 157

Sean Sammon (Arbib) 0417 137 419






news articles logo NEWS ARTICLES
Contact News Articles |Remove this article