World Triathlon Corporation has announced an initiative that will help Ironman and its athletes promote social inclusion, community development and lend a hand to Australians in need.
The Ironman Charity Challenge is being launched with the support of Brisbane-based food products innovator and manufacturer Food Spectrum. The Food Spectrum Ironman Charity Challenge gives athletes participating in Ironman Western Australia, Ironman Australia and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie the opportunity to raise funds for one of four official charities: the John Maclean Foundation, KIDS Foundation, The Hastings Cancer Trust and Geographe Kids.
“This program is a fantastic way for Ironman athletes to recognise the work of, and raise funds for, these fantastic community organizations,” World Triathlon Corporation brand manager Trent Taylor said.
“Ironman has a proud tradition of supporting Australian charities. Over the years, Ironman athletes have been selflessly using their participation in this grueling endurance event to raise awareness and funds for the less fortunate.”
Food Spectrum chief executive and Queensland’s John Maclean Foundation ambassador, Mark Betts, is a five-time Ironman finisher and a passionate fundraiser. In 2009, Betts raised more than $26,000 for the John Maclean Foundation to become top fundraiser at Ironman Western Australia.
Mr Betts said: “Ironman is a major physical and mental challenge that gives me an incredible sense of fulfilment and achievement. Even more profound though, is the amazing buzz I get from my associated fundraising; helping others less fortunate than myself is the ultimate reward for the long, grinding hours of training.
“I strongly encourage fellow athletes to drive their individual Ironman achievements even further. By joining together with family, friends and associates and using the personal webpage for fundraising, it’s possible to make a real difference to children and others who desperately need our help. You’ll also find it gives you back something really special “it more than doubles your sense of achievement.”
Athletes participating in Ironman Western Australia, Ironman Australia or Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie can register for the Food Spectrum Ironman Charity Challenge. On the site, athletes can select their event, their preferred recipient charity and create a personalised fundraising page that will allow them to track their fundraising progress. Athletes can simply send a link to their page to family and friends and let the fundraising begin.
The program is being delivered in conjunction with leading online fundraising site Everyday Hero. Each athlete will be notified of donations made in support of their efforts; totals will be maintained on their fundraising page and all donors will receive an electronic receipt. The program is designed to make the process as easy as possible for the athlete and their supporters.
At Ironman Western Australia, Ironman Australia and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie, the top fundraisers for each recipient charity of the Food Spectrum Ironman Charity Challenge will be recognized on-stage at the awards presentation for each event.