Sunshine Coast Bloody Long Walk 2020

Sunshine Coast, Bloody Long Walk 2020

On Sunday plenty of people joined Bloody Long Walk, A 35km challenge to cure Minto. The bright, sunny morning belied the sombreness of the occasion as family and friends gathered at Tickle Park, Coolum, some with a coffee and a chat before the walk to stand up and support people living with mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial disease (mito) is a debilitating genetic disorder that robs the body’s cells of energy, causing multiple organ dysfunction or failure and potentially death. Mito affects 1 in 5000 people, 
making it the second most commonly diagnosed, serious genetic disease after cystic fibrosis. 

One in 200 people, or more than 120,000 Australians, may carry genetic mutations that put them at risk for developing mito or other related symptoms such as diabetes, deafness or seizures during their lifetimes. There are many forms of mitochondrial disease; it is highly complex and can affect anyone of any age. There are no cures and few effective treatments. Kim has been event volunteering for over 10 years and each event is unique. Whatever role Kim has, she is surrounded by wonderful volunteer communities who are friendly, warm and love meeting new people. 

Volunteers, like Kim are essential to the success of fundraising events and functions, and the event couldn't operate without volunteers. Renowned for being a fun community event with stunning scenic walking routes, the national fundraising series of the Mito Foundation had Coast residents trekking from Mount Coolum to Mooloolaba Beach. The local event normally launches a series of 10 walks that take place around Australia, but due to the COVID-19, most events have been cancelled unfortunately. There has been so much support from the Sunshine Coast and the Minto Foundation was absolutely delighted, because the Coast is a great destination and people made a great weekend of it. The walk started at Coolum and followed the coastline and through the beautiful local scenery of Twin Waters, alongside the Maroochy River through to Alex Forest conservation area and participants enjoyed the spectacular finish area at Mooloolaba Beach. 

Kim started early at the start line ushering people to the checking in points, making sure everyone stayed 1.5 metres apart, being COVIDSAFE smart. The Bloody Long Walk COVIDSAFE plans were in place and approved by the relevant federal, state and local health authorities. All staff were wearing masks and hand sanitiser was available. There was specifically appointed COVID Safety Marshals and Check-in and go. As soon as you are checked in you can start your challenge, there's no unnecessary waiting around. 

The start line ran smoothly, with all participants arriving, getting checked in and moving onto the course quick and swift. Kim then moved to Pit Stop 4 Mudjimba Surf Life Saving Club. Kim spent her time cheering the walkers past the smell of coffee coming from The Island Surf and Espresso Café. 

Once most of the walkers past the Pit-Stop she moved forward to the spectacular finish line on the beach in front of Mooloolaba Surf Club. Spectators were perched on the seats on the walkway cheering the walkers the last strides on the walk. Quick photos while finishing, then they were swiftly ushered to move on. Unfortunately this year there no chill out section at the finish line due to COV-19.

Why Volunteer

Its good for your health

No, I’m making this up. Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease.  Apart from this, your immune system is also strengthened and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases.  This is because doing something for someone else interrupts tension-producing patterns and replaces it with a sense of purpose, positive emotions and high confidence levels.

It boosts your career

Did you know volunteering is an excellent way to boost your career prospects? It helps you create a positive impression, makes you more innovative, creative and gives you a range of useful skills.  It has been said that recruiters rank volunteer participation higher than personal presentation when looking at perspective candidates.

You’ll learn new skills

Employers love a candidate with a range of soft skills and luckily, volunteering gives you plenty of those. You are faced with problems on a daily basis, and have to deal with a mix of personalities – all while adjusting to life outside of your comfort zone.  This all adds up and helps to improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills. All in all, this is another excellent reason to get out there and volunteer.

You’ll make an impact

Volunteering, whether at home or abroad, gives you the chance to contribute every day to the kind of community and world you want to live in. It gives you the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself and use your own skills and knowledge to assist in the empowerment of people all across the globe.

Volunteering is not something to take lightly and needs to be treated with the utmost respect, but it is also fun  

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