First Nations youth across Queensland’s regional and remote communities will be able to join the charge when the Health and Wellbeing Queensland Junior Dash races kick off this July as part of the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon running festival.
A virtual event will enable entrants to run or walk anywhere, no matter where they live in Queensland, with funding from the Queensland Government set to support up to 1,250 First Nations youth to participate within their own regional or remote community at a subsidised rate.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said she was excited for the opportunities holding the Junior Dash races virtually presented.
“It means you can walk, jog or run the physical 2km or 4km course on location at Broadwater Parklands on Marathon weekend, or you can participate virtually in your own community, anytime between 3 – 18 July 2021,” Minister D’Ath said.
“To reach Queenslanders in our most remote communities, I’m delighted Health and Wellbeing Queensland is supporting First Nations youth between the ages of 5-14 to participate virtually at a subsidised rate of $10 plus a small processing fee. This is a saving of $20 off the full registration cost.
“The Health and Wellbeing Queensland Junior Dash races are the largest races dedicated to kids in Australia and a fantastic way to get children and families out and about and active. Regular physical activity is important for children’s health and wellbeing and supports them to grow and develop into healthy adults.”
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the Junior Dash was a fantastic example of supporting Queensland’s First Nations peoples in steps toward closing the gap. “Events such as the Junior Dash, and the way that they engage with young First Nations Peoples, bring communities closer to closing the gap, particularly in providing opportunities for young people to enjoy long and healthy lives, with high levels of social and emotional wellbeing,” said Minister Crawford.
“That’s why the Queensland Government has invested $9.3 million over four years as part of the National Closing the Gap agreement, which helps strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services across key areas such as health and childhood development.”
Health and Wellbeing Queensland Chief Executive Dr Robyn Littlewood encouraged First Nations youth in regional and remote communities, and all Queensland families to complete their registrations for the 2km or 4km events and get active.
“Health and Wellbeing Queensland is proud to be the health and wellbeing partner of the Gold Coast Marathon because we recognise events like these help kids and families to develop healthy habits which can have an impact across all areas of their lives. The benefits of sport and exercise go beyond the physical. It builds social connections, self-esteem, discipline and empowerment and most of all, you can have fun,” Dr Littlewood said.